Mark Cuban has added another title to his multi-hyphenate résumé: drugstore owner.
The entrepreneur–Dallas Mavericks owner–Shark Tank host–crypto enthusiast has launched the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, an online pharmacy that promises lower prices on over 100 medications, including ones commonly prescribed for high cholesterol and hypertension.
To lower costs, Cuban cut out the middleman, setting up his own pharmaceutical wholesaler and negotiating directly with drug manufacturers and pharmacies for rebates and discounts. It sells the drugs at a 15% markup and an added $3 pharmacist fee. Shipping is $5.
Among the discounted drugs is mesalamine, which treats ulcerative colitis. Normally, that retails for $940 per month, which falls as low as $102 per month with vouchers. Cuban Cost Plus will sell it for $32.40 per month. Atorvastatin (a generic version of cholesterol medicine Lipitor) generally sells for $55.08, but will cost $3.60 on Cuban Cost Plus, the company website said.
“There are numerous bad actors in the pharmaceutical supply chain preventing patients from getting affordable medicines,” said CEO Alex Oshmyansky in a statement. “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.”
The venture will not accept insurance payments at this time, requiring cash, but it claims its prices are still below what patients would pay with insurance at a typical pharmacy.
The online pharmacy, which stealth-launched under a different name in 2018, was sparked after so-called pharma bro Martin Shkreli dramatically raised the price of certain essential drugs and became a lightning rod for consumer ire over drug prices.