Mark Cuban on Cost Plus Drugs – Axios

Mark Cuban speaks with Axios reporter Hope King on the Axios BFD stage Wednesday. Photo: Beatrice Moritz
Had Cost Plus Drugs founder Mark Cuban been pitched the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) model at Shark Tank, it would have been a hard no, he told Axios reporter Hope King at the Axios BFD on Wednesday.
"I would have f**ked them up," Cuban said.
Why it matters: Cuban's transparent, direct-to-consumer pharmacy model shines a light on inefficiencies in the current drug supply chain and reimbursement system, which includes wholesalers, PBMs, pharmacies and insurers.
The intrigue: Cost Plus is the only health tech investment that Cuban has put his name on.
Catch up quick: Cost Plus launched in January promising steep discounts on 100 generic medications. Its prices include a flat 15% fee and a $3 charge for pharmacists' labor.
State of play: 1.2 million people have created accounts with Cost Plus, said Cuban, and the company now offers 1,000 generic medications.
Meanwhile, the company is building an $11 million, 22,000-square-foot factory in Dallas that was set to be completed this past April.
Flashback: A research report published in June in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine suggested Medicare could have saved up to $3.6 billion a year had it purchased generic drugs from Cost Plus.
Yes, but: While Cost Plus offers price transparency and some drugs at significantly lower prices than other pharmacies, it's still possible to get other generics for less money from companies including GoodRx, for example.
What's next: "We want to be the low-cost provider for any available medication," says Cuban.
The bottom line: "The whole pharma industry is intentionally distorted," said Cuban. "You’ve got one industry that's f**ked up and three players that f**k it up, and now it’s my turn to f**k them up.


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