If you have ever attended one of my lectures over the past three years, it is very rare that I don’t at least mention Cost Plus Drugs and the impact they have made in the pharmaceutical sales industry.
The latest news on Cost Plus Drug Company
Just this week, Mark Cuban, the founder of Cost Plus Drugs, revealed a strategic partnership with Expion Health to tackle the escalating costs of specialty drugs. Expion Health, headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, specializes in delivering advanced technology and analytics solutions for medical claims cost management and pharmacy cost management to healthcare payers.
What should providers be doing to prepare for this shift in specialty drugs
Given Cost Plus Drugs’ proven track record in the pharmacy industry, I am confident that their foray into specialty drugs will be highly successful. As per a September 2022 HRSA Report, specialty drugs accounted for 50% of total drug spending in 2021. The expenditure on specialty drugs has consistently risen, reaching $301 billion in 2021, marking a 43% increase since 2016.
The ongoing trend of directing patients to acquire specialty drugs from sources outside their primary healthcare system presents numerous challenges to the consistency of specialized care protocols and the revenue streams that sustain intensive treatment. Providers must carefully strategize to assess the potential impacts of such disruptions on their organizations, taking proactive measures to minimize risks to patient care and program funding. This ensures that access to life-saving treatments remains steadfastly available within the communities they serve.
Hospitals and healthcare providers may find value in exploring alternative routes for procuring specialty drugs at reduced costs through emerging partnerships, such as those exemplified by collaborations between entities like Cost Plus Drug Company and Expion Health.
What is Cost Plus Drug Company?
Founded by Mark Cuban in collaboration with Alex Oshmyansky, MD, PhD, Cost Plus Drug Company operates with the mission that “every American should have access to safe, affordable medicines.” The company aims to significantly lower drug costs while emphasizing the importance of introducing transparency to drug pricing, ensuring patients are aware they are receiving a fair price. For more information, read the cover story of the May issue of hfm magazine.
Cost Plus Drug Company’s notable achievements
Cost Plus Drugs inaugurated its online pharmacy on January 19, 2022, providing a selection of over 1,100 generic medications to patients. The pricing structure for all drugs is determined transparently, incorporating manufacturing cost + 15% markup + pharmacy labor ($5) + shipping ($5). Notably, the company has partnered with Truepill, a fulfillment pharmaceutical services company, for the shipment of pharmaceuticals, with a fixed cost of $5.00.
Mark Cuban also generated headlines earlier this year by announcing his partnership with Coherus BioSciences to launch Yusimry, a generic biosimilar to Humira, offering an impressive 85% discount compared to the brand name. Humira, widely employed in treating Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis, secured its place as the world’s highest-selling drug, amassing an extraordinary $21 billion in sales in 2022, just prior to the expiration of its patent in 2023.
What to expect moving forward
I anticipate that 2024 will be another banner year for Cost Plus Drugs and their commitment to lower drug costs while emphasizing the importance of introducing transparency to drug pricing, ensuring patients are aware they are receiving a fair price.