Famed entrepreneur Mark Cuban has started a new, low-cost drug company that’s based on the premise of “capitalists acting like human beings first.”
The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, recently launched, boasts that it offers “radically transparent, low cost versions of high cost generic drugs” right on its website, and there’s a good reason for that.
“I’m all for capitalism at its purest, but it requires capitalists acting like human beings first,” he wrote in an email interview with STAT about starting the new company. “If they don’t, the cost of health care goes up for everyone to the point where we can’t afford insurance and people die or receive inadequate care.”
Keeping that mind, as Inc. magazine revealed, Cuban’s built this new company around the idea that “everyone should be able to afford their medicine” and “feel the price they paid for their medicine was fair.”
Inc. noted that the company’s first drug will be a generic version of albendazole, used to treat hookworm. The disease can cause cognitive defects and neurological problems if left unchecked, but can be treated early with just two tablets of the drug.
Albendazole currently costs consumers around $225 per tablet, according to Inc., but Cuban’s company says it costs far less to make — about $13. It adds a reasonable 15 percent profit margin, charges $15 per tablet as a wholesale price, and then sets a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $20 per tablet.
This isn’t something new to Cuban. Back in 2016, he tweeted that “It’s time to bring drug pricing under control,” adding that “empathy arbitrage can not be a pricing strategy.”
Now, with his new company, he’s getting a chance to do just that. According to Becker’s Hospital News, he’s got big plans, which include offering more than 100 drugs by the end of 2021 and building a pharmaceutical factory in Dallas by 2022.
Lead image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr