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How a Kind Billionaire Started an Online Pharmacy To Sell Expensive Medicines at Affordable Price

His venture will help millions access costly generic drugs

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

Millions of people struggle to access healthcare because of the prohibitive cost of prescription drugs.

The pharmaceutical marketing model is not kind to poor and middle-class patients as it involves intermediaries who take their cuts and push up the prices.

According to a Gallup poll, over 18 million Americans reported that they could not buy at least one prescription medication in the previous three months.

American President Biden is aware of the issue and has said,

“Here in America, it will not surprise you to know that we pay the highest prescription drug prices of any developed nation in the world.”

A billionaire’s blow for access to medicines

There are innumerable ways billionaires can use their wealth to make an impact on society.

Mark Cuban, investor and owner of the basketball team Dallas Mavericks, took the pharmaceutical market by storm when he announced the commencement of an online pharmacy.

The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company (MCCPDC) will sell hundreds of life saving drugs at steep discounts over traditional distributors.

The company will eliminate the middlemen by procuring medicines directly from the manufacturers and sell them at cost price plus a 15 % markup.

Bulk buyers with deep pockets like the MCCPDC can call the shots in negotiating drug prices with manufacturers.

The company’s CEO Alex Oshmyansky said,

“The markup on potentially lifesaving drugs that people depend on is a problem that can’t be ignored. It is imperative that we take action and help expand access to these medications for those who need them most.”

The company doesn’t accept health insurance but its prices will be considerably lower than what people pay in the market.

For instance, the MCCPDC will sell the diabetes drug metformin for $3.90 for a month’s supply as against the retail price of $20.

Cuban’s pharmacy will sell a 30-count of imatinib, a cancer drug, at $17.10 whereas the same quantity will cost $2502.60 at other pharmacies.

Final thoughts

Market capitalism hides exploitation and profiteering under the veneer of efficiency and incentives. Governments take their time to reform Shylockian pricing of drugs because of lobbying and obstructionism unleashed by vested interests.

Mark Cuban’s initiative to sell drugs at affordable prices shows how private wealth can achieve what the government failed to deliver.

Starting a discount online pharmacy is an indirect way of sharing wealth with society.

May Mark Cuban’s venture flourish and help millions of patients buy life saving drugs at affordable cost!

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Mukundarajan V N

Mukundarajan V N

Retired banker living in India. Avid reader. I write to learn, inform and inspire. Believe in ethical living and sustainable development. vnmukund@gmail.com

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