Mark Cuban’s prescription drug company, Cost Plus Drug Co., launched this year to cut out the middle man, continues to gain momentum as it talks with hospitals around the country to determine the most common drug shortages.
Cost Plus Drug Co. plans to fill the gap by gearing production at its new Deep Ellum manufacturing facility toward churning out the most needed prescription medicines.
“I’ve been having conversations with hospitals all over the country about what we’re going to be doing,” said Alex Oshmyansky, founder and CEO of Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs Co. “We’re very much focused on making drugs for pharmaceutical shortages.”
The $11 million, 22,000-square foot building is known as a “fill-finish” facility in the industry; it is the last manufacturing step in drug making. The building is expected to be completed early next year, pending USDA approval.
Oshmyansky explained that the company’s starting focus was the FDA’s shortage list, which identifies 185 drugs in short supply.
Many of the drugs on the list are critical to keeping patients alive, including oxytocin. Lidocaine, another drug on the FDA’s shortage list, is most commonly used as local anesthesia for surgical procedures but also prevents cardiac arrhythmia, Oshmyansky suggested.
When deciding which products to make, Oshmyansky said they work closely and collaborate “with the individual customers that we have in the health system.”
“We will have a limited capacity,” he added, “and we want to make the best use of that capacity to impact public health.”
The company generated headlines when it opened for business this year, with hopes to “disrupt and disable big pharma” by offering low-cost prescription drugs.
Mark Cuban recently told a crowd at a venture forum in Dallas that his new company has “introduced transparency” to how consumers buy drugs.
“There are so many different ways to start attacking health care,” Cuban suggested.
A key differentiator with Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs company is its commitment to transparency.
The firm lists how much the prescriptions cost at retail and shows consumers how much the drugs cost at the new alternative. It lists wholesale manufacturing costs, a 15% markup, a $3 pharmacy labor fee, and shipping costs.
A Harvard University report suggested Medicare could have saved $3.6 billion in 2020 if it had bought generic drugs from Cuban’s online pharmacy, which delivers to all 50 states.