Billionaire Mark Cuban Disrupts “Opaque” Industry

The tech billionaire is turning the pharmaceutical industry upside down.

Mark Cuban is a very busy man these days. 

The NBA season has just started. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks, like other owners, has big ambitions for this season, after his franchise lost last May to the eventual champion, the Golden State Warriors.

Cuban is currently also in the 14th season of the hit TV show Shark Tank. 

Additionally, he has investments in a wide variety of companies and startups. Sometimes one wonders how he manages to keep up with everything. 

Here is a list of the companies in which he has invested.

Despite his very busy schedule, the entrepreneur finds time to give interviews. TheStreet was surprised by how quickly Cuban responded to us.

TheStreet sent him a list of questions in the evening and he replied a few hours later. And early in the morning the next day, when TheStreet sent him follow-up questions, and Cuban answered immediately. 

Only Company Bearing His Name

We wonder when he finds time to sleep. It must be said that in recent months, the energetic investor has been on a mission. Not just any mission. Cuban is climbing Mount Everest. He’s disrupting the $365 billion U.S. prescription-drug market. He is selling generic medicines directly to consumers at low prices.

Drugs are one of the most critical expense items for many Americans. Some people find themselves in debt, strangled by exorbitant drug bills. Cuban wants to change this reality that often leads to despair.  

In January, he co-founded CostPlus Drug Company, an online pharmacy. This pharmacy is the only one of his businesses that bears his name. The exact name is Mark Cuban CostPlus Drug Company.

“It’s the only company I have ever put my name on,” the billionaire, 64, told TheStreet. “I wanted drug manufacturers, providers, patients to know that I truly care and am committed to making this work.”

CostPlus Drug Company “fills and delivers prescriptions at cost plus a fixed 15% margin,” the company says on its website.

For example, a 30-count supply of 100mg Imatinib, a drug which treats leukemia and other types of cancer, will cost you $14.40 the firm says on its website. The retail price at other companies is $2,502.60. You save $2,488.20.

For people with type 2 diabetes, one tablet of Metformin, the generic of Fortamet, will cost you $46.20 if purchased from CostPlus Drug. This will save you $518.27, the company claims, because the retail price is $564.47. The medication helps to control high blood sugar.

Transparency and Trust

Cuban is able to provide these prices because there’s no middleperson. CostPlus Drug Company bypasses health-insurers and negotiates directly with drug manufacturers.

“We work outside the systems and we are transparent,” Cuban told TheStreet. “Being transparent builds trust. Because trust is the missing component across the drug industry, it has allowed us to build a base of followers who can see how we price our medications and how we can save them money.”

Mark Cuban CostPlus Drug currently offers approximately 350 drugs, some at remarkably low prices.

“In 2020 alone, Medicare could have spent $3.6 billion less on generic acid-reflux, cancer and other drugs if purchased through Cost Plus Drug Company, a new online pharmacy backed by Mark Cuban,” found a study from Harvard Medical School researchers.

The company’s business model may be beneficial for health insurers, including Medicare, which spent an estimated $115.6 billion on prescription drugs last year, or nearly a third of the total U.S. drug spending, the study added.

“The goal is to be the low cost provider of every medication we can make available for sale and to be as completely transparent as possible,” Cuban told TheStreet. “That will allow us to keep adding customers and continue to grow.”

He explained that there are “many issues” in the pharmaceutical industry that transparency can solve. And he made a decision to address all these issues which ruin consumers. In less than a year, Mark Cuban CostPlus Drug has managed to make a name for itself in the industry. And that’s just the beginning, says the tech billionaire.

“We will take it where we can best serve,” the investor said.

“@costplusdrugs has grown exponentially beyond our highest projections,” he tweeted on October 28. “We have more than 1.2m accounts in just 9 months. I’d say that’s a good start and a reflection that working outside the opaque system in place is better for patients. Wouldn’t you ?”

Given his track record, it’s hard to bet against Cuban.

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