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The company joins the wide array of online pharmacy services, such as Amazon Pharmacy, that have popped up in recent years. Cuban has also launched a namesake PBM.
A few weeks after Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company established its own pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), the company launched its online pharmacy.
Both the PBM and the online pharmacy are designed to “help shield consumers from inflated drug prices,” the company said in a news release.
Cuban is owner of the Dallas Mavericks, an NBA basketball team, and one of the featured investors on Shark Tank reality television series. Forbes magazine listed his net worth at $4.5 billion and ranked him 247th in its list of the 400 wealthiest Americans.
Cuban’s company is just the latest entry in the online pharmacy space. The number of online pharmacy services, including Amazon Pharmacy, have surged in recent years. And iHealthcareAnalyst projects the global market for internet pharmacies
predicted to attain to reach $191.2 billion by 2027, driven by rising personal disposable income, lower prices, and a surge in internet penetration.
As a registered pharmaceutical wholesaler, it can “bypass middlemen and outrageous markups,” the company said in a press release. The pharmacy's prices reflect actual manufacturer prices plus a flat 15% margin and pharmacist fee.
In addition, the company does not accept insurance and is a cash pay-only venture. The press release says that Cuban’s company “refuses to pay spread prices to third-party PBMs in order to be allowed to process insurance claims.”
This model means that patients can immediately purchase a broad array of medications at prices often less than what most insurance plans' deductible and copay requirements would total, the press release says
"We will do whatever it takes to get affordable pharmaceuticals to patients," said Alex Oshmyansky, the CEO, said in the press release. "The markup on potentially lifesaving drugs that people depend on is a problem that can't be ignored. It is imperative that we take action and help expand access to these medications for those who need them most.”
According to a September 2021 Gallup poll, 18 million Americans were recently unable to pay for at least one prescription medication for their household due to rising costs, and 1 in 10 Americans have skipped doses to save money, the press release said.
Cuban’s Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company entered the PBM industry to serve companies providing prescription coverage in their employee benefit plans. His PBM has pledged to be "radically transparent" in its own negotiations with drug companies as a PBM, “revealing the true costs it pays for drugs and eliminating spread pricing and misaligned rebate incentives.”
The company plans to integrate its pharmacy and wholesaler with its PBM, so any company that uses its PBM will have access to wholesale pricing through its online pharmacy.
"There are numerous bad actors in the pharmaceutical supply chain preventing patients from getting affordable medicines," Oshmyansky said in the press release. "The only way to ensure affordable prices get through is to vertically integrate."