At times it seems like every major tech giant talks about disrupting healthcare. Apple (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report wants to do it, Amazon (AMZN) – Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report bought an online pharmacy, and even Haven a partnership, between Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK.A) – Get Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class A Report Warren Bufftet, JPMorgan’s (JPM) – Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. Report, and Amazon, tried (and failed) at this gargantuan task.
Perhaps the problem is that all of these approaches have been huge swings — massive attempts to disrupt a heavily entrenched industry.
Enter Mark Cuban.
The outspoken billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks decided to take a very basic, business approach to disrupting healthcare and drug prices. He got rid of the middleman. His company, the humbly named “Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company” had very clear goals and a very simple approach.
“We started Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company because every American should have access to safe, affordable medicines. If you don’t have insurance or have a high deductible plan, you know that even the most basic medications can cost a fortune. Many people are spending crazy amounts of money each month just to stay healthy. No American should have to suffer or worse – because they can’t afford basic prescription medications,” the company shared on its website.
How Mark Cuban’s Drug Company Works
Cuban wants to offer low-cost drugs, but he also wants transparency so customers can see what they’re paying for. The company started by looking at one drug, Albendazole, a medicine used to treat hookworm, which can be a problem “for disadvantaged population,” according to Cost Plus.
“Normally the drug prescribed for hookworm, Albendazole, can cost as much as $500 per course, making the drug out of reach for many in need,” the company shared.
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In reality, it only costs $26.08 per course.
“We mark that price up by 15% so we can continue to run the company and invest in disrupting the pricing of as many drugs as we possibly can,” Cost Plus added.
“Our goal is to dramatically reduce the cost of drugs like Albendazole, but we also think that it is just as important to introduce transparency to the pricing of drugs so patients know they are getting a fair price,’ the company shared. That makes the base price of the drug $30. Then we add on the actual cost, $3, that our pharmacy partners charge us to prepare and provide your prescription to you.”
That makes the final price to consumers $33.
“Every product we sell is priced exactly the same way our cost plus 15%, plus the pharmacy fee,” the company added.
Mark Cuban Cost Plus offers hundreds of drugs and shares full price transparency on its website. The company has also just launched an online community on Twitter where people can share their drug price experiences.
Twitter Reacts to Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company
Instead of finding some bold new way to disrupt all of healthcare, Cuban has tackled an actual part of the problem. Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter, Inc. Report, as you might imagine, likes what Cuban is doing.
Cuban also shared the link to join the Cost Plus Drugs online community.