Mark Cuban Wants to Solve the U.S. Prescription Drug Price Crisis

Billionaire business owner Mark Cuban is on a mission to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry and sell low-cost prescription drugs directly to Americans. His startup venture — the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company — is offering steeply discounted prices on hundreds of generic prescription drugs. Some of the potential savings are staggering. A generic leukemia drug called Imatinib currently retails for $2,502 for 30 tablets. Cuban's company is selling the exact same medication for just $17.10. In an industry famous for keeping its pricing models in the dark, Cuban's drug company is fully transparent. That $17.10 is exactly 15% more than the cost of manufacturing the drug. At first glance, Cuban's new online pharmacy couldn't have come at a better time. Americans pay 244% more for prescription drugs than any other developed country, and an estimated 18 million people have reported that they can no longer afford to pay for one or more of their prescriptions. However, while Cuban should be applauded for trying to make life-saving drugs more affordable, a single startup isn't going to solve America's prescription drug price crisis. Ultimately, Congress has to rewrite the decades-old rules that let drug companies essentially name their prices and rake in billions in profits. Yes, drug companies should be allowed to make money from delivering a life-saving cure, vaccine or treatment, but how much money? According to an analysis by West Health, name-brand drug companies could lose $1 trillion in sales and still be the most profitable industry in America.