Cuban's pharmacy isn't always the cheapest, but cost isn't the focus, CEO says

As Mark Cuban works to "just f— up the pharmaceutical industry so bad that they bleed," his online pharmacy, Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co., does not always offer the lowest prices. Individual generics aren't the main goal, though, Kaiser Health News reported Feb. 17. 

As news outlets, celebrities, swingers on Reddit and people on Twitter praise Cost Plus Drug for its low prices on hundreds of generics, some of its products are more expensive than options at local pharmacies, KHN reported using GoodRx data. 

For example, one presentation of amoxicillin-clavulanate, an antibiotic currently in shortage, is $267.60 at Cost Plus Drug Co. and $109.44 at the average community pharmacy. 

Mr. Cuban told the outlet that its analysis was not comprehensive because of the company's pricing model, which is a 15 percent markup, $3 for labor per drug and $5 for shipping. Because the shipping cost is overall and not for each medication, Mr. Cuban said his pharmacy can still offer a cheaper sale. 

Co-founder and CEO Alex Oshmyansky, MD, PhD, has previously said he "view[s] our competition not really so much as the actual generic pharmaceutical manufacturers themselves," but the pharmacy benefit managers that help determine drug prices. 

Since that comment, Cost Plus Drug Co. changed its plan to build its own PBM and paired up with three PBMs that aren't part of the Federal Trade Commission's current investigation into the six largest that span nearly the whole market. 

Cost Plus Drug Co. also cannot make a large dent in all drug prices as it only sells generics, which are much less expensive than brand-name treatments. As the company builds its own manufacturing plant in Dallas, works to sell brand-name drugs and accept insurance, eyes pairing up with hospitals, and looks to enter the insulin business, the 1-year-old business may still be in its infancy stage.

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