Why I No Longer Need to Be A Billionaire

For the past few years, when someone would ask me what I would do if I were incredibly wealthy, I would say that I wanted to start a pharmaceutical company to provide reasonably-priced medications. A good example of the problems with drug pricing was discussed earlier in the week on a prior blog post regarding insulin (Insulin: “Poster Child For Everything That’s Wrong” with U.S Drug Costs). Fortunately, I no longer need to be a billionaire:

NPR: (Jan 24, 2022): Billionaire Mark Cuban launches online pharmacy aimed at lowering generic drug prices

An excerpt:

The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company announced the opening of its online pharmacy Wednesday. The pharmacy says it will bypass health care industry “middlemen” and help consumers avoid high drug prices by charging manufacturers’ prices plus a flat 15% markup and pharmacist fee…

The pharmacy doesn’t accept health insurance but says prices will still be lower than what people would typically pay at a pharmacy….

The website currently offers 100 generic drugs to treat a variety of illnesses, including diabetes, asthma and heart conditions.

One drug for diabetes patients, metformin, sells for $3.90 for a 30-day supply, compared to a retail price of $20, the pharmacy said. A 30-count of imatinib, which is used to treat leukemia and other cancers, goes for as low as $17.10 at Cuban’s pharmacy compared with $2,502.60 at other pharmacies.

Link to Mark Cuban’s Company: Cost Plus Drug Company

GI Medications:

  • Colcichine is priced at $8.70 (retail $176.23)
  • Entecavir $46.20 (retail $995.75)
  • Esomeprazole Capsule (40 mg) $6.00 (retail $216.66)
  • Lansoprazole Capsule (15 mg) $9.00
  • Mesalamine (Generic for Canasa) $36.90 (retail $959.07)
  • Mesalamine (Generic for Apriso) $36.60 (retail $122.57) ***this is only for 30 pills
  • Methotrexate 2.5 mg (30 capsules) $13.80
  • Omeprazole 40 mg capsules $4.50
  • Pantoprazole is priced at $4.50 (40 mg tablets) (retail $71.40)

GoodRx website also has low prices on many of these medications as well; however, some of these prices at the Mark Cuban pharmacy are terrific. For example, the cost of mesalamine suppositories at GoodRx are about three times as much.

My take: I need to talk to our Epic champion to connect our EMR to this pharmacy service.

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