It’s no secret that healthcare in America is run similarly to a business. Pharmaceutical companies prioritize their own profits over the health and well-being of the American people. If you have ever traveled to another country, then you already know the cost of healthcare, and pharmaceutical drugs is exponentially lower in other parts of the world. As a result, Mark Cuban has taken it upon himself to try and revolutionize the cost of medication, specifically tackling the cost of insulin.
Mark Cuban Revolutionizes Pharmaceuticals
Mark Cuban has an online business and plans to start selling affordable insulin. He said, “It may be a month, it may be six months, it may be two years.” While discussing that they’re not sure when but do know it will happen. Mark Cuban and the company plan to sell insulin directly to consumers, cutting out the costly middleman.
Plenty of Americans are on board
The online prescription drug company now offers around 350 generic drugs. Within the first year after its launch, Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co. has seen around 1.5 million customers. Adding insulin to its product list has been costly but Mark Cuban is willing to spend the money to create more affordable alternatives to the pharmaceutical industry.
Mark Cuban Invests
Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co. has already invested 5 million dollars into the initial phases of selling the drug. He even stated that he would be willing to invest another $150 million to $250 million to create the company’s manufacturing plant.
Cuban recognizes that this venture will ultimately make him money, but that’s not his highest priority. He told ABC News, “It’s the right thing to do. I don’t want this to seem like it’s completely altruistic, you know?”
Motivated to Make Changes
Dr. Alex Oshmyansky is a radiologist in Dallas and pitched this idea to Mark Cuban in 2018. The goal of the unsolicited email was to bring down the high cost of prescription drugs. “I started reading the email, and I’m like, ‘This guy gets it. I need to talk to him some more,’” Cuban said.
Mark Cuban also explained that his motivation to make these changes came, in part, from Martin Shkreli. Sometimes referred to as, “Pharma Bro,” Martin is widely known and criticized for increasing the price of Daraprim by more than 4,000%. “If this Pharma Bro guy can raise prices 75%, 100%, there must be inefficiencies in this marketplace to reduce prices in the same manner,” Cuban said. Daraprim also called, Pyrimethamine, is used to prevent parasites from growing or reproducing in the body.
Health insurance companies have been known to cut the cost of medical care and prescriptions but they can still be costly. This means that although people have the option of buying cheaper drugs, they are still seeing a large portion of their monthly income depleted. It is important to note that as of now the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co. sells only generic brands but hopes to be able to incorporate brand name drugs in the future.
Who’s to Blame
CVS Caremark, Cigna’s Express Scripts and UnitedHealth Group’s OptumRx makeup around 80% of the market. Additionally, all three are tied to major health insurance providers. As a result, they have unyielding leverage when it comes to negotiating costs.
The Kaiser Family Foundation recently took a poll in which 8 out of 10 adults think the cost of American Pharmaceuticals are “unreasonable.” In a classic case of scapegoating, JC Scott, president and CEO Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, told NBC News, “Drug manufacturers alone set and raise drug prices — and that’s the root cause of high drug costs for patients.”
Mark Cuban is an admirable man. He’s a self-made billionaire, makes wise investments and chooses to teach his kids the value of hard work. Now, there’s even more reason to love him. Mark Cuban is paving the way to affordable prescription drugs for the American people.
Keep Reading: An oral insulin capsule passed second stage testing for efficacy and safety, paving the way to diabetes treatments without shots
- “Mark Cuban’s next act on drug costs: Tackling insulin.” NBC News. Berkeley Lovelace Jr., Lauren Dunn and Cynthia McFadden. December 20, 2022.