Mark Cuban Plots Next Move to Collaborate with Hospitals on Drug Shortages

Mark Cuban Plots Next Move to Collaborate with Hospitals on Drug Shortages. Mark Cuban with pharmaceutical pills of various sizes and shapes in the background.

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban had a simple mission when he established his Cost Plus Drugs venture in 2020 — to provide low-cost, high-quality pharmaceuticals to consumers.

The business has made significant progress and now offers nearly 1,000 generics at often dramatic savings from retail prices and those negotiated by pharmacy benefits managers on behalf of payers. But the company’s biggest impact is yet to come, Cuban notes in recent interviews.

Cost Plus Drugs pricing vs. retail prices. Imatinib $14.40; retail $2,502.50. Albendazole $33.00; retail $437.68. Mesalamine $26.70; retail $766.80. Lisinopril $3.60; retail $24.00. Source: https://costplusdrugs.com/medications/.

During this time, Cuban and company leaders will continue to add more generics to their offerings and expand into branded drugs, which account for a much smaller share of the pharmaceutical market, but 80% of drug expenditures in 2018, according to a CNBC report.

Cost Plus Drugs is working on contracts with Roche for branded diabetic drugs and plans to add significantly more in the future, Cuban noted in The Motley Fool podcast. The company also is putting together an affiliation of independent pharmacies and grocery chains to enable consumers to pick up their prescriptions there instead of waiting five to seven days to obtain the prescriptions via mail ordering through the Cost Plus Drugs website.

The company also plans to offer a benefit card to employers that will allow workers to save and perhaps eliminate their co-pays on pharmaceuticals purchased through Cost Plus Drugs.

If Cuban’s company can crack the brand-name drug market and significantly build its generic drug manufacturing capacity, it could have a larger impact on the complex pharmaceutical market. But for now, Cost Plus Drugs is having an impact already, Cindy Thomas, a health policy professor at Brandeis University, told CNBC. She believes the company is playing an important role in serving the large number of Americans who are uninsured, underinsured or on high-deductible insurance plans.

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