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The Cost Plus Drug Company

The Cost Plus Drug Company

A Challenge to Big Pharma 

By Matthew Peinado 

Every year, the average American spends around $1,200 on pharmaceuticals. [1] With drug prices increasing nearly annually, many are put in uncomfortable financial positions in order to keep themselves alive, even with insurance. Billionaire Mark Cuban has offered a glimmer of hope to many with his new company, the Cost Plus Drug Company.  

The Cost Plus Drug Company has set out to cut the cost of many pharmaceuticals to near the cost of production. Drugs like imatinib, a medication that prevents cancer cells from multiplying which costs up to $2,500 dollars at other pharmacies, have been cut to under $20. [2] 

To take advantage of the Cost Plus Drug Company’s prices, someone will first need a prescription from a doctor. After receiving the prescription, they will find that medication on the Cost Plus website. If it is offered, follow the directions the website provides and the medication will be shipped. [3] 

Cuban stated, “Everyone should have safe, affordable medicines with transparent prices.” [4] On the Cost Plus Drug Company website, the exact reasons for the dollar amount is listed. First, the cost of manufacturing sets the base price. Then there is a universal 15% markup. A $3 charge is added to each medication for pharmacy labor as well. [5] 

Currently, over 100 medications are offered on the Cost Plus website. While they are adding more as they are able, they currently cannot offer any name brand or specialty drugs. [6] 

The Cost Plus Drug Company currently does not manufacture any medications themselves or have their own pharmacy. While they are starting the process of building a manufacturing facility in Dallas, Texas, for now they will purchase medications directly from manufacturers. When the facility is fully functional, it would not be unfounded to assume prices could lower even more. [7] 

Cuban uses TruePill, an online pharmacy to fulfill orders. Qualified pharmacists from TruePill will be the ones receiving the doctor’s prescription, filling it, and shipping the medications to homes. [8] 

Cuban’s efforts are the first mainstream private market attempt to alleviate the pharmaceutical industry’s price gouging. While many Americans will still continue to struggle to pay for medical necessities at exaggerated prices, Cost Plus is a step in the direction of affordable medicine for all. 

See Also


1. (n.d.).  

2 – 8. Ibid. 

9. ICYMI: 58 million American adults can’t afford prescription drugs. (2019, November 12). Home.

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