Billionaire Mark Cuban launched a drug company this week that is “dedicated to producing low-cost versions of high-cost generic drugs” and pledges “radical transparency” in pricing.
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The company is launching with albendazole, an antiparasitic drug that has an average list price of $225 per tablet, but Cuban’s company has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of just $20 per tablet. With insurance, the cost would be even lower.
“Our low cost of albendazole product allows physicians to affordably treat hookworm outbreaks throughout America that were previously too expensive to treat systemically before,” the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company said on its website.
According to its website, the company adds a “flat 15% margin” to get wholesale prices, which “makes sure we remain viable and profitable.” The company claims its approach cuts out the middlemen to ensure “everybody gets the same low price for every drug we make.”
The company is aiming to add more than 100 drugs to its list over the next year and is planning to build a pharmaceutical factory in Dallas in 2022. It is not clear where the company is currently producing albendazole.
The “Shark Tank” star revealed the company’s launch in a tweet on Thursday while announcing a partnership with Baylor College of Medicine Houston to tackle hookworm infections in Alabama.
“Our goal is that everyone should be able to afford their medicine,” the company’s website stated. “Everyone should know what it cost to make their medicine. Everyone should feel the price they paid for their medicine was fair.”
Cuban has a history of calling for fair drug pricing and questioning price-gouging tactics employed by pharmaceutical companies. He also has a knack for being highly critical of health care companies that appear on ABC’s “Shark Tank” without proper testing or studies to back up their product.
“It really bothers me when we have a product that could take advantage of the [people] who trust us,” he told the New York Post in 2019. “I believe the show has a responsibility to its viewers.”