Mark Cuban Launches Digital Pharmaceutical Startup
Entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is continuing his hot streak by launching and funding another startup. The angel investor announced on Wednesday his newest initiative, the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company (MCCPDC), officially opened for online orders.
MCCPDC was co-founded by Cuban and Alex Oshmyansky, a medical researcher and former professor at Stanford University. The new company aims to provide over 100 commonly used medications for uninsured individuals at significantly lower prices than if they were to purchase the medicine at traditional pharmacies. According to a prepared statement, MCCPDC keeps prices down by cutting out pharmacy benefits managers who act as the middlemen and negotiate between wholesale pharmacies, insurance companies and drug manufacturers.
MCCPDC is also powered by San Francisco-based Truepill, a health platform that provides direct-to-patient medicines and telehealth services. Truepill was launched in 2016 and reached unicorn status last year.
The MCCPDC website currently lists dozens of medications ranging from Albuterol tablets and inhalers to birth control and nausea pills at significantly lower prices than traditional retail costs. For example, Abacavir/Lamivudine, a drug to treat HIV infections, will sell for $57 instead of $1,100. Also on the list of offerings is the generic asthma drug Montelukast, which will sell for $6 rather than $170.
“We will do whatever it takes to get affordable pharmaceuticals to patients,” Oshmyansky, who serves as MCCPDC’s CEO, said in a prepared statement. “The markup on potentially lifesaving drugs that people depend on is a problem that can’t be ignored. It is imperative that we take action and help expand access to these medications for those who need them most.”
Due to MCCPDC not negotiating with pharmacy benefits managers, the startup will be a cash pay venture meaning insured individuals will not be able to use health plans to cover the cost of medications.
In November, Built In reported that Cuban was pumping $11 million into this pharmaceutical venture to build a 22,000-square-foot headquarters in Deep Ellum. The facility will support medicine formulation and refilling and is also registered with the Food and Drug Administration.
According to Dallas Innovates, the headquarters is set to open in September with up to 25 employees and eventually grow to 80.