The more money Benefit pros can save their employers and employees while still meeting their benefits and compensation needs, the better. Especially in today’s pandemic environment, people are watching every dollar they spend. So, here’s something you might want to share with your employees when it comes to medications. Mark Cuban, one of the sharks on the TV show Shark Tank, launched an online pharmacy: Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company (MCCPDC).
If you’re thinking who cares, just another business venture to make him even richer, you may be right. But the website says: “We’re different than your normal pharmacy. We think you should know how much your medications cost and why. We cut out the middlemen and pass the savings on to you.”
Online pharmacy cuts out middlemen
Cuban believes that everyone should have “safe, affordable medicines at transparent prices.” And according to the website, the company is cutting out the middlemen and giving consumers manufacturers’ prices, plus a 15% mark up, plus a cost for pharmacy labor, plus shipping.
Now, wait. Before you say, “There goes the prices!” check this out.
A 30-count supply of 400mg Imatinib (a chemotherapy drug used to treat leukemia and other kinds of cancer and related diseases) would cost:
$38.40 (manufacturer price) + $6.00 (15% mark up) + $3.00 (pharmacy labor) = $47.40 (plus $5.00 shipping added at checkout)
Compare that to the retail price at other pharmacies ($9,657.40) and $52.40 doesn’t sound so bad now does it?
This could be a huge help for employees. A September 2021 Gallup poll revealed “an estimated 17 million persons reported in June that they were unable to pay for at least one doctor-prescribed medication for their household during the prior three months.”
So how can MCCPDC do this?
They will buy directly from third-party suppliers or make their own. Specifically, fees paid to pharmacists, pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers are being elminiated.
The online pharmacy has been launched and is essentially a 503(b) compound pharmacy. Currently, the company has purchased more than 100 generic medications based on the FDA’s shortage list.
Will this shake the pharmaceutical industry to its core?
Unfortunately, the answer right now is no.
The company only offers 100 generic medications and is a no-insurance business. But if it takes off, it could make a dent in the industry in the future.
We can all keep our fingers crossed!