Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says his online pharmacy offers the lowest available price on more than 800 generic drugs.
Individual spending on prescription drugs in the U.S. is the highest in the world, according to the 2021 U.S. Prescription Drug Report, at an annual average of $1,011 per person. A 2021 Gallup Poll found that 18 million Americans, or 7% of U.S. adults, cannot afford to pay for needed medication.
The Dallas Mavericks owner spoke to CBS Morning about his endeavor and why he believes cutting prescription costs for Americans is essential.
“We all know people who’ve had to make decisions between their rent and food and medication, or they’ve had to ration their medication. And that’s just wrong in the United States of America in 2022,” Cuban said.
By cutting out the middle man and purchasing directly from manufacturers, the online pharmacy, Cost Plus Drugs, can keep prices low, Cuban explained.
The online pharmacy charges a 15% markup, a $3 handling fee, and $5 for shipping. The business has partnered with Truepill pharmacy to fulfill the orders.
The company does not accept insurance, but consumers can use a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account card to pay for orders. It has carried a selection of generic medication since it opened in January and can currently deliver in every U.S. state but North Carolina.
The idea for the online pharmacy came from the company’s co-founder, Dr. Alex Oshmyansky, who Cuban said once emailed him to suggest forming a company that would sell rare drugs at a lower cost.
“I was like, ‘Why limit it to rare drugs? Let’s build a company, and rather than work within the traditional system, let’s work outside of it and just have complete transparency,'” Cuban told the publication.
Cuban said he believes making medicine more affordable and changing people’s lives for the better is a “game-changer.”