'Let's get this done,' Mark Cuban tells Biden on Medicare savings study

Medicare recipients could have saved up to $3.6 billion on generic drug costs in 2020 if Medicare paid the same prices as investor Mark Cuban's pharmacy, according to a study published June 20 in Annals of Internal Medicine. Mr. Cuban tweeted the results, urging President Joe Biden and other elected officials to "have your people call my people and let’s get this done."

The pharmacy, Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co., has quickly gained speed from about 100 generic drugs at its launch in January to more than 700 generic drugs six months later. 

The researchers from the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law at Boston-based Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital identified 89 generic drugs for which they could compare prices between Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co. and Medicare Part D plans.

If Medicare Part D plans matched Mr. Cuban's prices for 77 of the 89 generic drugs, 37 percent of Medicare's $9.6 billion 2020 drug costs could have been slashed, the study found. Twelve drugs did not cost less. 

The researchers found the best results with esomeprazole, a drug that treats acid reflux heartburn, which could have saved CMS up to $293 million if Medicare paid the same amount as Cost Plus Drug Co. Medicare paid $1.77 per pill. Cost Plus Drug Co. gets it for $0.19. 

Cost Plus Drug Co. sells its products with a $3 pharmacy dispensing fee, $5 shipping fee and a 15 percent profit margin. 

"Our sole mission is to be the low-cost drug provider for as many drugs as we can possibly offer," Mr. Cuban told Becker's. "That is counter to most business interests, particularly over a long period of time."

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