Billionaire investor Mark Cuban is known for his razzle-dazzle. Not only has he backed a long string of tech, media and cryptocurrency companies, he also owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and is a TV star on “Shark Tank.”
Getting into discount drugs might not have seemed like an obvious next move for Cuban. But that’s exactly what he did in January, when he launched Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs.
The company’s goal is to offer safe and affordable medicines at transparent prices. It’s a noble cause, given that one in four Americans has trouble affording their prescriptions.
Cuban has clearly observed that the inflated prices consumers pay for generic medicines are ripe for disruption. Congress should take note of his strategy.
Cost Plus offers more than 100 generic prescription medicines, many at eye-popping discounts.
Take fluoxetine, the generic equivalent of Prozac, a treatment for depression. A 30-day supply of the generic normally retails for $21.92. You can get the same thing from Cost Plus for $3.90.
A 30-count supply of the cancer drug imatinib sells for $17.10, compared to a whopping $2,502.50 at other drugstores.
The list goes on. Cost Plus requires consumers to pay for medications out of pocket and doesn’t process insurance claims. But its drugs cost less than most patients would pay elsewhere even with insurance.