Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will offer cheaper prescription drugs to Americans
When universal health care doesn’t pass Congress, there’s always Mark Cuban to fall back on. The billionaire and owner of the Dallas Mavericks spear an online pharmacy this week to combat price gouging of prescription drugs by big pharma.
The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co. (MCCPDC) will offer more than 100 generic drugs that will be purchased directly from manufacturers and sold online with a 15% markup across the line and minimal pharmacist fees. For context, pharmaceutical companies typically mark up prices by at least 100% and up to 1000 percent in some cases.
An example of how big a difference Cuba is making with this new pharmacy can be found in the price of the drug imatinib, which is used to treat leukemia. The retail price is over $9,000 per month. The price of the voucher is $120. And the MCCPDC price – $47 per month. While not all markdowns come at such a staggering rate – for example, a common cholesterol drug that costs $55 will sold on Cuban’s site for less than $4 – that definitely makes a difference for US customers.
He Recount Forbes last year, when he originally got involved in setting up a low-cost pharmaceutical company, he wanted “to show that capitalism can be compassionate.” Relying on the compassion of extremely wealthy people may not be the most stable economic system imaginable, especially when these types of events are remarkable rather than a common occurrence. But if there are no regulations on rising pharmaceutical prices, Cuba is all we have.
The announcement was widely welcomed on social media by Americans with stories of themselves and family members being overcharged for lifesaving drugs. Jason Call, candidate for Congress 2022 from Washington, tweeted in response to the launch announcement, “Have we found a ‘good billionaire’? Probably not, but it seems like a better idea than anything our Pharma-owned Congress can muster.
The MCCPDC does not handle insurance claims and requires its customers to pay out of pocket, but the full prices they offer are lower than many copays that insurance companies currently charge.
Cuban has been the majority owner of the Dallas Mavericks since 2000 and has been subject to a dozen different fines for making critical comments about the NBA, referees and players, which he says amounted to charitable donations. He also made an offer on several major league baseball teams, including the Cubs, Dodgers, and Rangers, and expressed interest in buying the Penguins. He is known for his short temper in games – former Mavs player Dirk Nowitzki said in 2006 that he needed to stop yelling at the referees the whole game – and for his firm political independence.
the shark tank Judge originally built his fortune with a variety of investments and his own software resale company, MicroSolutions. He also got into the webcasting business in the 1990s, and his company was acquired by Yahoo! for $5.7 billion in stock, which is now considered one of the worst Internet acquisitions of all time.