Mark Cuban’s Pharmacy: A Great Choice for Generics?
high drug prices
Prescription medication prices are a big problem for many Americans. The price of meds online is already so high, many people simply can’t afford to prioritize healthcare when making financial decisions.
In fact, according to one Gallup poll from September of 2021, 7% of adults (about 18 million people) in the United States reported they had been unable to pay for at least one prescribed medication in the previous three months.
With no end in sight to the always-rising cost of necessary medications, Americans have been searching online for safe, reliable ways to fill their prescriptions. Online Canadian pharmacies have become a go-to source for many.
Some intrepid pharmacies have even coordinated bus trips across the border so people can fill their prescriptions, despite critiques from members of government.
While this is an excellent story, Americans do require a more convenient, reliable way to get their needed medications. As an international online pharmacy, NorthWestPharmacy.com satisfies that need for Americans every single day.
Now, a new online pharmacy has stepped into the limelight. Is it as effective a resource as NorthWestPharmacy.com? Let’s delve into its launch and offerings to see if it’s the solution Americans have been waiting for.
There’s a New Online Pharmacy in Town
As of January 2022, there’s a new option for struggling Americans to turn to. In an interesting twist of events, billionaire Mark Cuban has founded a new online pharmacy that promises transparency and lower prices.
It’s true: Mark Cuban has paved a new way for people to order prescriptions online. It may seem odd, and many are still trying to wrap their minds around it.
The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs Company launched in late January 2022. It is a cash-only (read: no insurance) pharmacy that aims to sell 100 different drugs at accessible prices by the end of 2022.
Cuban’s pharmacy does have a catch: It will only sell generic drugs.
That’s one of the ways the Cost Plus Drugs Company will aim to keep its prices low. The pharmacy also says it’s dedicated to bypassing the “middlemen” in the health care industry. As part of the launch, in fact, the company released its markup strategy.
Mark Cuban himself emphasized the company’s simple pricing formula in a tweet: “All drugs are priced at cost plus 15%!”
Why did Mark Cuban Launch an Online Pharmacy?
Simply put, the costs for prescription medications have been rising — precipitously and dangerously — for years.
One dramatic markup, in particular, seems to have frustrated the team behind the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company.
When Martin Shkreli, once CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, decided to raise the price of Daraprim by an astounding 5,000%, he made it extremely difficult for suffering patients to access their life-saving medication.
Before the markup, Daraprim, a drug made to treat a parasitic infection very effectively, was priced at just $13.50 per tablet. After the markup, it cost $750.00.
Mark Cuban’s co-founder, Alex Oshmyansky, is a practicing physician. He expressed anger at Shkreli's decision: “I was just so livid about that…I had patients have serious injuries from the high cost of drugs, which should have been very cheap.”
A Case Study of Lowered Costs for a Generic Anti-Parasitic
Perhaps, then, it’s not a surprise the very first drug listed by the new company is a generic anti-parasitic. Albendazole, a drug that treats hookworm, has been notoriously out of reach for the lower-income people who need it most.
Oshmyansky noted it only takes two tablets of albendazole to treat a hookworm infection. However, at an average retail price of $225.00 per tablet, it’s often out of reach of sufferers living in poverty.
As a result, an easily-treatable infection leads to neurological problems and cognitive defects that could have been simply avoided.
Not only will the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company sell albendazole for just $20.00 per tablet, but it’s also partnering with researchers at Baylor College of Medicine to study the way hookworm spreads.
(And yet, $20.00 per pill is still far more than it costs at NorthWestPharmacy.com.)
How Cuban’s Pharmacy is Keeping Prices Low
The main way Cost Plus is planning to keep prices low is by directly tackling the supply chain. Traditionally, the drug supply chain is quite complex. Drug manufacturers sell drugs to wholesalers, who sell them to pharmacies, who sell them to patients.
That may seem (somewhat) straightforward, but there are all kinds of background negotiations in and around each step in the drug supply that can result in dramatic price hikes.
These raised prices get passed down to the patient, who may or may not be able to afford the decided-upon amount.
Cuban’s company is proposing to cut out most of the middle steps within the drug supply chain. This method could help ensure prescription medications go from manufacturer to patient with minimal markup.
They’re also cutting costs by not dealing with insurance at all. Insurance, though it can help with a lot of costs, also adds a lot of administrative work, which costs money because of the human capital you need to employ as a result.
By making Cost Plus a cash-only pharmacy, Cuban’s able to reduce a ton of internal paperwork which can lead to higher markups.
Will Ordering Drugs Online Save Money?
Now, let’s talk about the good stuff — whether Mark Cuban’s new pharmacy will really help you save on your prescription medications.
The brief answer is anticlimactic: It depends. Your personal savings through this particular online pharmacy will depend on a lot of different factors, including:
- What your insurance would have covered: Since the Cost Plus Drug Company doesn’t work with insurance, there’s a chance your costs may actually be higher with this option. This depends on your insurance coverage.
- The specific medication you need: The pharmacy is launching with a relatively streamlined list of offerings. If you need something Mark Cuban’s pharmacy simply doesn’t have, you clearly won’t benefit. Alternatively, if you need a brand-name version of medication for any reason, you’ll need to look elsewhere for your affordably-priced prescription drugs.
While we know ordering through a safe online pharmacy is a proven way to save money, it remains to be seen just how well Cuban’s new pharmacy will hit that mark (no pun intended).
Cheaper Meds Online Sounds Good… Will It Work for Me?
There’s a possibility — at least on the outset — that Mark Cuban’s pharmacy will only be geared to help a fraction of the American population.
The new company does offer accessible prices for a select list of generic drugs. This is laudable — but it won’t meet the complex, widespread needs of every American.
While generic drugs are often a workable alternative to a brand-name medication, many people do need to purchase a specific brand-name product. Why? There are several reasons this could be the case:
- For example, a person may have an adverse reaction to a generic medication, but be totally fine with the brand-name version. Generic drugs go through extensive testing to ensure they’re effective and safe, but they can have some differences with d the brand-name.
A generic might include different filler ingredients, for example..
- Doctors may not know a generic medication is available or have a preference for prescribing a brand-name product. By law, a pharmacist must fill prescriptions as they’re written. If a doctor explicitly prescribes a brand-name medication or writes “do not substitute,” then a generic can’t be used. It makes sense to go back to your doctor and let them know a generic is available in such cases.
- It doesn’t always make sense to go for the cheaper generic drug. There are some kinds of medicines (technically termed “narrow therapeutic index drugs”) that feature specific very ingredient lists and extremely precise mechanisms of action. (An example might be anti-seizure medications, such as Banzel).
Ultimately, the promise of getting cheaper medications online is great, but it’s important to consider what’s really best for you. If the medication you actually need isn’t available through Mark Cuban’s online pharmacy, it may be best to find an alternative option that has a wider selection of generic and brand-name medications for a similar, or even better, price point.
Cuban’s Pharmacy vs. Canadian Pharmacy and International Prices
For years, NorthWestPharmacy.com has provided a wide range of brand-name and generic prescription medications to patients in America. We’re proud to have a vast selection of life-changing medications, featured at equally life-changing prices.
If you need a brand-name medication or a generic that isn’t yet in stock at Mark Cuban’s pharmacy, check out our extensive list of available meds. We’d love to help you.
And we’re also able to offer some generic drugs at even more affordable costs than Cuban’s new company, such as:
- Albuterol HFA, a generic version of Ventolin HFA, or a popular inhaler used to both treat and prevent symptoms associated with asthma and COPD.
At Cost Plus, one inhaler is priced at $43.25. At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we offer the generic Albuterol inhaler for just over $21.00 (51% savings). (We also offer the brand-name Ventolin inhaler and other popular inhalers, like Trelegy Ellipta and Breo Ellipta, for attractively low prices.)
- Estradiol patches, a topical form of medication that can help women with hormonal disorders or provide needed relief for women as they move through menopause.
At Cost Plus, one patch of estradiol costs $54.34. Here at NorthWestPharmacy.com, we sell generic Estradiol patches for just over $25.00 per patch (53% savings). We also sell brand-name Climara patches and other popular menopause medications.
- Albendazole, the anti-parasitic drug at the center of the skyrocketing drug prices scandal we mentioned above.
At Cost Plus, you can buy one tablet of albendazole for $16.50. This is much better than the hundreds of dollars it can retail for. However, At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we go even further and sell generic albendazole for just over $2.00 per pill (87% savings).
Those three examples are just the start of what we’re able to deliver on at NorthWestPharmacy.com. From brand-name inhalers to osteoporosis meds and nasal sprays that provide timely allergy relief, we’re happy to offer what American patients need to enjoy an increased quality of life.
However, we understand ordering your medications online can be anxiety-inducing. No worries — we’re also here to address your concerns as much as possible.
Order Your Prescription Through an Online Canadian Pharmacy
The first time you order a required medication online can be a confusing — perhaps even intimidating — experience. We understand this isn’t a part of your life you want to leave up to chance.
That’s why, at NorthWestPharmacy.com, we adhere to strict safety standards. When you order from us, you’re ordering from a pharmacy that follows all standards set forth by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) and the International Pharmacy Association of British Columbia (IPABC).
In addition, we have a team of friendly, reliable customer service representatives you can call to chat with anytime. We can also connect you with one of our staff pharmacists, should you have any questions about your medication or prescription.
Our customer service team can help you place an order over the phone if you wish. If you’d rather order online, we make doing so as simple and seamless as possible. Our goal is to make sure nothing — whether it be steep prices or confusing wording procedures — stands between you and your prescription medications.
Our tireless focus on a top-tier customer experience has paid off: We’re proud to have a 4.8/5 star rating across 400,000+ independent reviews from verified customers.
Interested in learning more about what we offer? Contact our team at 1-866-539-5330, or reach out to us online. We look forward to serving you!