Mark Cuban launches digital pharmacy promising steep discounts on generic drugs
Consumer-facing digital pharmacies face fresh competition in the form of Mark Cuban's drug company, which recently launched an online pharmacy promising steep discounts on 100 generic medications.
Why it matters: The new offering is likely to put increased pressure on existing digital pharmacies — such as Ro and Amazon Pharmacy — and contributes to growing discontent with pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), which are increasingly seen as cost-raising intermediaries.
- "Not everyone sets the goal of being the lowest cost producer and provider," Cuban told Axios in an email. "My goal is to make a profit while maximizing impact."
Details: The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company (MCCPDC) only accepts cash and uses Truepill’s platform to fill and deliver prescriptions.
- The company is pitching its approach as a way to curb drug costs by working both as a retailer and its own PBM.
- MCCPDC will sell medications for cancer, diabetes, gastrointestinal and heart conditions, and more.
- For example, the company says it will charge $47 a month for Imatinib, a common medication for leukemia that retails for more than $9,600 monthly and costs roughly $120 per month with a typical voucher.
- The prices include a flat 15% fee, plus a $3 charge for pharmacists' labor.
- The company is building an $11 million, 22,000 square-foot factory in Dallas that it hopes to complete by April, Forbes reports.
What we're watching: As virtual care companies increasingly race to become consumers’ first stop for health-related needs, we’re curious to see how digital pharmacies fit into the mix.
- Hims & Hers, for example, recently began adding services for primary and urgent care and behavioral health.
- Similarly, Ro recently added virtual visits and offers treatments for a host of chronic issues including allergies, menopause and weight management.
- So, will MCCPDC stick to its pharmacy guns, or start adding new features to become yet another player on the increasingly crowded virtual care stage?
- Cuban declined to comment on our questions about how much he invested in the company.
Sarah and Erin co-author the Axios Pro newsletter on health tech deals. Subscribe at AxiosPro.com.