People searching for low-cost alternatives to high-priced prescription medicine have a new, and perhaps unexpected, option: an online pharmacy founded by billionaire businessman, Shark Tank star, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Earlier this year, he launched Cost Plus Drugs — a direct-to-consumer website that offers several generic medications at discounted prices. So who’s eligible, what’s available, and how significant are the savings?
Here’s everything you need to know about Cost Plus Drugs.
How Does Cost Plus Drugs Company Work?
The website is straightforward and easy to use. First, head to costplusdrugs.com and search for your prescription medication. You can search by medication name or medical condition. The pharmacy stocks hundreds of drugs, and Cuban says more are in the works.
Once you find your prescription, you can sign up for an account. Then, you’ll be directed to reach out to your doctor or provider with specific instructions for getting your script approved. Once Cost Plus Drugs receives an authorized prescription from your provider, your medications will be shipped to you.
The company says its prices reflect “the true cost” of getting each medication from the manufacturer to customers. The site shows the prices of each medication: the retail price, the Cost Plus Drugs price, and the customer’s savings. Speaking of savings — those fluctuate depending on the medication. In some cases, they are significant. Other times, it’s just a few bucks.
Who Founded It And Why?
Mark Cuban founded Cost Plus Drugs in partnership with Dr. Alex Oshmyansky. Cuban says he believes every American should have access to safe and affordable medicines. He highlights the example of hookworm, a parasite that disadvantaged populations, in particular, are vulnerable to.
“Normally the drug prescribed for hookworm, Albendazole, can cost as much as $500 per course, making the drug out of reach for many in need,” said Cuban. “So we started off by donating more than 10,000 tablets of Albendazole to cure parasitic infections in the most affected areas of the southern U.S.”
Cuban says he not only wants to dramatically reduce the cost of drugs like Albendazole, but he also wants drug pricing transparency so customers know they’re getting a fair price.
And where do the medications at Cost Plus Drugs actually come from? The company partners with Truepill, a fulfillment pharmaceutical services company, to provide your prescriptions.
What Drugs Are Covered?
For now, Cost Plus Drugs offers dozens of medications that treat conditions like diabetes, HIV, cancer, dementia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more.
What Drugs Aren’t Covered?
Customers may be disappointed to find that most medications, in fact, aren’t available right now. However, Cuban says they are constantly working to add more options. Customers can suggest medications and sign up for email alerts when new drugs are added.
What Type Of Patient Would Benefit Most?
Anyone who uses a prescription medication, particularly for a chronic condition, would benefit from doing a little window shopping on the Cost Plug Drugs website. If (and that’s a big if) your medication is available, chances are good that Cost Plus Drugs will save you some money.
Everything Else You Need To Know
Paying For Cost Plus Drugs (Insurance, FSA, And HSA)
Be advised, Cost Plus Drugs does not accept insurance. Regardless, they claim their prices still reflect significant savings — even beyond what you might get from your insurance benefits. (Our advice? Check their math before taking their word for it.)
Pro Tip: Even though they don’t accept insurance, you can use your HSA or FSA funds to pay for prescriptions from Cost Plus Drugs.
Cost Plus Drugs’ Pharmaceutical Facility
Soon, Cost Plus Drugs will start making its own prescription medications in-house. The company is building what they call a “state of the art” pharmaceutical facility in Dallas, Texas, where they plan to make their own medicines at low prices.
Cuban says he wanted to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry with Cost Plus Drugs. While the selection is limited now, increased supply and cost transparency are wins for Americans searching for affordable prescription drugs.
Next time you need to fill a prescription, it’s absolutely worth stopping by costplusdrugs.com to see if your medication is available at a discounted price. After all, who doesn’t benefit from saving a little money? Of course, be sure to discuss your options with your doctor or trusted medical professional first.
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