Mark Cuban's pharma company to start manufacturing 2 drugs this week

Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co. plans to begin manufacturing epinephrine and norepinephrine this week at its 22,000-square-foot drug facility in Dallas, Mr. Cuban confirmed to Becker's on March 5. 

The $11 million drug manufacturing plant, which originally planned to start operating in late 2022, will focus on producing injectable drugs that often fall into shortages. 

Epinephrine is an emergency treatment for severe allergy reactions, and norepinephrine is a blood pressure medication. Injection solutions of the former have been in unsteady supply since at least 2012. Neither the FDA nor the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists list norepinephrine as a current shortage. 

Next on the docket are pediatric oncology drugs, according to Fortune and Politico

The plant's robotic and AI technology allows Cost Plus Drugs "to pivot from making one drug type to another very rapidly — in principle, within four hours," said Alex Oshmyansky, MD, PhD, the company's CEO and co-founder, Fortune reported. 

About two years after its launch, Cost Plus Drugs now offers thousands of generics and about 20 brand-name drugs for reduced prices. The business sells medications at their manufacturing price, a 15% markup and a $10 fee for shipping and handling — and it also partners with hundreds of independent and grocery chain pharmacies. 

In mid-February, it debuted a "marketplace" for hospitals and other healthcare providers to order key medications in short supply.

"We encourage any hospitals in short supply on these or other objectives to reach out to us," Mr. Cuban told Becker's.

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