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Billionaire provides low-cost medicine to all

Words by Smiley Team

In recent decades, US drug prices have soared. Insulin, the medicine used to treat diabetes, for instance, had a 54% price increase from 2014 to 2019 according to GoodRX. And what costs $12 across the border in Canada, often costs upwards of $90 in the states.

There have been pushes to cap the cost of drugs like insulin in the government, like the 2019 Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act or a recent bill aimed at capping insulin prices – but those efforts have been stalled. 

In another avenue, business people, like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, have worked to provide more affordable medicine. 

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Through the Cost Plus Drug Company, Mark and his partners intend to make drugs and medicine more accessible for individuals. The website, which acts as a pharmacy, limits markups to 15%.

“There was an obvious need for [Cost Plus Drug Company] for patients, and the industry is so convoluted," Mark told PharmaPhorum. "We felt by simplifying things, we could offer lower pricing for medications."

According to their site, the way the company saves so much on drug costs is by cutting out middlemen. The middleman that they reference is often pharmacy benefit managers or group purchasing organizations who often source prescriptions for pharmacies.  

“We do our best to price our drugs as close to the manufacturer’s price as possible,” they say.

Cost Plus Drug Company handles its prescription fulfillment and delivery through an e-commerce platform called Truepill. The service allows them to accept payment and ship nationwide. 

“When manufacturers of brand name drugs sell through [Cost Plus Drug Company], patients can see our actual costs and how low pricing can truly be, which does wonders for the branding and perception of the manufacturers,” added Mark. 

Inspired to act?

SUPPORT: Check out the Well Health Foundation. They’re an organization that helps cover medical costs for people that struggle to pay for them.

PASS IT ON: If someone you know needs quick support for prescription costs, check out GoodRx, a coupon service for prescription drugs. 

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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