Forbes – Business
Billionaire Mark Cuban Opens Online Pharmacy To Provide Affordable Generic Drugs
Lisa Kim, Forbes Staff Jauuary 20, 2022
Billionaire investor Mark Cuban launched an online pharmacy Thursday that offers more than 100 generic drugs at an affordable price with a goal of being “radically transparent” in its price negotiations with drug companies.
The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs Company (MCCPDC) is a registered pharmaceutical wholesaler and purchases drugs directly from manufacturers, bypassing middlemen to lower the price of more than 100 medications, it said in a statement.
For example, the leukemia drug imatinib is priced at $47 a month on MCCPDC compared to the $9,657 retail price.
The online pharmacy’s prices for generics factor in a 15% margin on top of actual manufacturer prices and a $3 pharmacist fee, the statement said.
The markup on generics average “at least” 100%, the MCCPDC said, while the Wall Street Journal reports in some cases it exceeds 1,000%.
The company doesn’t process insurance claims and requires customers to pay for their medications out of pocket, noting its drugs cost less than most insurance plans’ deductible and copay requirements.
MCCPDC CEO Alex Oshmyansky reached out to Cuban with an idea for a low-cost generic drug company in a cold email. It was launched in January last year. They were motivated in part by “Pharma Bro” Martin Shrkeli’s outrage-producing price hike of the lifesaving drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per tablet while Shrkeli was CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Cuban told Forbes last year the pricing for generic drugs was “ridiculous.” He said he decided to put his name on the company to “show capitalism can be compassionate and to send the message I am all in.” It’s not clear how much he had invested in the company.
$4.5 billion. That’s how much Forbes estimates Cuban, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, is worth, as of Thursday.