|August 2022||Maximixe your HSA e-Newsletter||Vol. 18, Issue 15|
A Game-Changer: How the Owner of the Dallas Mavericks May Save You Hundreds on Your Prescription Drugs
More than one in five Americans – 22.9 percent – report being unable to afford needed prescription drugs within the previous 12 months. And a recent Gallup poll found that some 18 million Americans reported being unable to afford at least one prescription drug within the previous three months.
But Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, popular “Shark Tank” personality, and investor, is doing a lot to change that: He started a whole new drug company, and is selling many generic prescription drugs at a fraction of their usual and customary retail cost without insurance. It could be a game-changer, making many life-altering and lifesaving medications newly affordable that were recently out of reach for millions of Americans.
The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company contracts with manufacturers of unfinished drugs, handles the final finishing and packaging, and sells them at their cost plus a 15% margin, and the $3 fee that their pharmacy partner charges them.
The savings for certain drugs for which the initial patents have expired are dramatic. For example:
- Omeprazole-sodium bicarbonate, the generic of Zegerid, used to treat stomach disorders, ulcers, and acid reflux, costs as much as $2,702.78 without insurance. You can get it via the MCCPDC for $20.10.
- Imatinib, the generic for Gleevec, a drug developed to treat leukemia, costs as much as $2,502 without insurance for a batch of 30 pills. You can buy it via the MCCPDC for $14.40.
- Aripiprazole, the generic of Abilify, an antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, and autism-related irritability, sells for $677.80 without insurance. You can buy 30 tablets via the MCCPDC for just $6.00.
And fluticasone propionate, the generic for the popular anti-allergy medicine Flonase, normally sells for $51.10 without insurance. It sells on the MCCPDC website for $7.42.
At this time, the company doesn’t sell controlled drugs, such as narcotics. They also don’t provide medications to customers under age 18.
The Mark Cuban Drug Company represents a major disruption of the pharmaceutical industry Pharmaceutical pricing has long been controlled by industry middlemen, called “pharmacy benefit managers,” or PBMs, which add significant costs while adding little or no value for consumers.
MCCDPC’s strategy is to eliminate these PBM middlemen and their added costs, contract directly with drug manufacturers for out-of-patent products, and ship them directly to consumers’ mailboxes.
200 Drugs and Counting
At present, the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company sells more than 200 drugs that treat conditions from allergies to cancer and diabetes, all at discounts compared to the usual and customary prices of both name brands and generics available at pharmacies.
While the drug inventory is still somewhat limited, the company is continually adding low-cost, generic drugs to its shelves – and is taking requests. To request a drug not currently offered on the platform, click here, and scroll to the bottom of the page. You’ll get an alert if and when your requested drug becomes available.
The company is cash-only. Dealing with insurance companies and their billing requirements adds a massive amount of overhead to providers of all stripes. Going cash-only also enables the company to bypass the pharmacy benefit managers and their added costs. The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company keeps costs low by eliminating the insurance bureaucracy, and passing the cost savings on to consumers.
Note: You can still use the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company to save money on prescription drugs even if you have insurance. It may make sense if your insurance policy has a high deductible. You may also be able to get reimbursed directly from your health insurance company for your prescription drug costs. Check with your carrier for details.
The MCCPDC deals strictly with generic drugs. These are drugs that are out of patent, so the original developer no longer has an exclusive right to manufacture and market the compound. If you want to use a newer or brand-name drug, you’ll have to pay more at the pharmacy.
How to Use the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company to Save Money
First, sign up for an account.
Next, have your doctor send your prescription directly to the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company (NCPDP ID #4940208) via eScript. Your doctor can also send in prescriptions by phone at +1 (833) 926-3384, or by FAX at +1 (650) 683-9775.
Full instructions for your doctor are available here.
Your doctor will need to provide them with your email address so you can receive alerts.
When you get an alert, you can go back to the website and purchase your medication online. The order will be fulfilled by TruePill, a mail order pharmacy and digital health platform. TruePill can deliver orders in all 50 states.
Who should consider using the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company?
You should consider using the MCCPDC if you are uninsured or you have a large deductible that you may not cover this year. You should also consider using the MCCPDC if you have insurance but you have a very high coinsurance amount. In some cases – particularly on higher-cost medications, the Cost Plus Drug Company’s prices will be lower than your combined deductible and coinsurance contribution on your copay.
Note that unless your insurance company reimburses you, amounts you pay to the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company will not count toward your annual deductible if you have insurance.
You stand to save a significant amount of money, if you purchase medications through the Cost Plus Drug Company. However, since they can only fill certain medications, you may not be able to get all your medications through them. If that’s the case, you’ll be dealing with multiple pharmacies. Make sure all your doctors and your pharmacists know all the drugs you’re taking. That way, they can alert you if there are any warnings about possible drug interactions.
The MCCPDC operates a 24-hour help line, where you can speak with an accredited pharmacist any time, seven days a week, if you have questions, or to go over possible drug interactions and cautions.
Click here to schedule an appointment, or call 800-913-0172 to get started.
To your health and wealth,
Wiley P. Long, III
President - HSA for America
The HSA for America Maximize Your HSA Newsletter is published monthly and emailed to subscribers at no charge. Subscribe now to stay on top of the critical information you need to know about health insurance, healthshare plans and managing your finances to achieve financial security.
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