Mark Cuban Answer to a Big Problem

The self-made billionaire is disrupting drug distribution with his online pharmacy Cost Plus Drugs.

Mark Cuban Answer to a Big Problem

The self-made billionaire is disrupting drug distribution with his online pharmacy Cost Plus Drugs.

Those who have followed Mark Cuban closely in recent months, may have noticed that the billionaire is obsessed with one company: Cost Plus Drugs. 

His Twitter feed is filled with retweets and posts mentioning this company, which is an online pharmacy he co-founded in January 2022. 

Cost Plus Drugs seems to be the tech billionaire's new mantra. 

The company seems to have given him his appetite back, the gusto of moving forward again. It's not that Cuban, a multi-faceted, in-demand investor, lacked motivation. But Cost Plus Drugs seems to have provoked something in him. 

The star of the hit show 'Shark Tank' is on a mission. He is determined to accomplish this mission. To do this, Cuban uses all weapons. It looks as if it's his first company and yet, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has created and supported many companies in the past.

His new ambition is indeed colossal. Cuban wants to move a mountain. Imagine: for decades the cost of drugs has only increased in the United States, to the extent that many consumers are choosing not to be treated. 

'No One Should Be in That Position'

But most often, consumers are being strangled by colossal bills, ending up losing everything. 

To justify their high prices, the pharmaceutical companies say that it is the price to pay for research & development. Basically, in order to keep funding research, they need to raise prices. 

Critics say it's an excuse and point to the disparity between drug prices in the United States and other industrialized countries, including neighboring Canada. Cuban is part of this camp. 

He therefore decided to prove that it was possible to provide affordable drugs in the United States, without necessarily breaking the bank. Cuban is attacking a one hundred billion industry, stretching from pharmaceutical laboratories to drug distributors such as CVS, RiteAid and Walgreens. 

Cuban's strength is his popularity and the word-of-mouth of Cost Plus Drug customers who share their experiences on social networks. The billionaire therefore often bounces off these messages of gratitude to give them an even bigger sounding board. 

This is what he came to do, after a moving message from a patient and an announcement from President Joe Biden.

"As I lose medicaid and go on Medicare, @costplusdrugs will save me approximately $900/month. Can you imagine? I'd be homeless," the Twitter user posted on Mar. 15.

"Exactly why we started @costplusdrugs," the billionaire commented the following day. 

He then appealed to patients who are saddled with large drug bills.

"No one should be in that position. Ever."

The day before, Cuban had already urged a patient, who was extolling the merits of his company, to be vocal about it.

"I just got 90 day supply of my meds for less than $40 from @costplusdrugs and I had been paying around $900/month prior WITH insurance. This is life changing savings!" the patient posted on Twitter.

"Spread the word!!!" the investor said.

Disrupt the Drug Industry

When Biden announced a trip to outline his administration's plan to lower drug costs, Cuban asked the President to engage with his company, as Cost Plus Drugs is already doing it.

"Today, I’m in Las Vegas to talk about what I’m doing to lower costs for prescription drugs," the president's Twitter account wrote Mar. 15.

"@costplusdrugs could save far more. Just need to reach out to us," the billionaire said.

Cost Plus Drugs fills and delivers prescriptions at cost plus a fixed 15% margin. The online pharmacy is able to provide these prices because there's no distributor in the middle. Cost Plus Drugs bypasses health insurers and negotiates directly with drugmakers.

"We started this company as an effort to disrupt the drug industry and to do our best to end ridiculous drug prices," Cuban says on the company's website.

The online pharmacy has generic treatments for almost 70 diseases and health issues. Drugs available at Cost Plus include treatments for asthma, breast cancer, alcohol addiction, diabetes, opioid addiction, mental health, dental care, heart failure, birth control and more.

It is gaining prominence: Cuban told TheStreet in January that this year, the key objectives of his online pharmacy are to lower drug prices even further and expand its customer base and drug offerings.

"Add branded drugs. Push pricing down lower. Expand our reach to millions more patients," the billionaire said.