Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs Looks Legit, Evidence of Savings Adds Up

Rachel Curry - Author
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Jun. 22 2022, Published 1:15 p.m. ET

Billionaire and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban has no shortage of business ventures, from owning the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks to pushing crypto. In January, he launched the generic drug marketplace Cost Plus Drugs, which has proven to cut costs, just like it said it would.

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A new study shows Cost Plus Drugs actually does help save money, proving the platform to be legit. Here’s what to know about Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs.

New study shows Cost Plus Drugs is much cheaper than what Medicare buys.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School say the nation’s Medicare drug program, Part D, could save up to $3.6 billion annually by using Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs to fill prescriptions.

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Medicare spent more than $115 billion on prescription drugs in 2021, amounting to nearly a third of total prescription drug spending in the U.S. The reason Medicare would save so much money by using Cost Plus Drugs is because the platform purchases generic drugs directly rather than forcing users to navigate a multi-step pharmacy network.

Dr. Stacie Dusetzina of Vanderbilt University Medical Center told reporters, “We’ve created this behemoth system, and this alternative shows that if you strip out as many of those actors in the supply chain as possible, you can lower prices and still make a profit.”

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Cost Plus Drugs: The origin story

The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs Company aims to provide direct access to generic drugs to reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients. Flat fees and a 15-percent markup are the extents of the company’s revenue. In its first few months of existence, the company’s offerings have expanded to more than 300 generic drugs.

CEO Alex Oshmyansky said around the launch in January, “We will do whatever it takes to get affordable pharmaceuticals to patients.”

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Cost Plus Drugs aims to trim generic drug prices by an average of half. For some variants, the margin is slimmer, but for others, it’s much larger. For example, leukemia drug imatinib retails at $9,657 a month, but Cost Plus Drugs charges just $47 per month for the same medication.

Did Mark Cuban create a pharmaceutical force to be reckoned with?

Generic drugs are typically 50 percent–95 percent cheaper than their brand-name counterparts. This fact alone gives the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs Company a major opportunity.

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In the U.S., rising prescription costs and a troubled healthcare system plague the masses. While poor and working-class individuals feel the pressure most, medical debt can impact almost any class. According to a recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 23 million Americans have medical debt (and about 3 million Americans owe more than $10,000 in medical expenses).

For prescriptions in particular, a lack of funds often means patients can't access the medication they need. Cuban’s company has proven itself to be legit, and it could change the fate of the U.S. drug market, or at least give the convoluted pharmacological standard a run for its money.

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