New Service Takes a Shark-size Bite out of Medication Costs

Billionaire Mark Cuban's new company offers deep discount prescriptions

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by Ed Tobias |

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My multiple sclerosis medications cost me a lot, even with good insurance. Yours probably do, too, if you don’t live in a country where the government picks up your drug costs.

But now billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban is taking a big bite out of the cost of some of those medications. Cuban is an investor who regularly appears on the “Shark Tank” entrepreneurial television show. Among his recent investments is the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company. His goal with the company is to “dramatically reduce the cost of drugs” and to make drug pricing transparent so that patients will know they’re getting a fair price when filling a prescription.

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Ditching the middle man

Here’s how it works: Cuban’s company buys medications directly from pharmaceutical companies. It adds 15% to that price for operational costs and continued investments in the company. Then, $3 is added to cover the cost of what Cuban’s pharmacy partners charge to prepare and ship the medication.

On your end, you’ll need to sign up for the service on the company’s website, search the site for the medication you want to order, and ask your doctor to prescribe the medication via Cost Plus. The doctor can send the prescription electronically, or by phone or fax.

Limited MS meds but big savings

So far, only two multiple sclerosis medications are available via Cost Plus — the generic versions of Ampyra (dalfampridine) and Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate). But more MS meds may be added. The website says, “Tell us which drugs you’re looking for and we’ll let you know when they become available.”

The savings can be substantial. The Cost Plus website lists the retail price for 30 dalfampridine tablets as $1,394.30. I’ve paid $40 using a different discount provider. The Cost Plus price is $11.40. A bottle of dimethyl fumarate tablets is listed as $2,176.06 retail, and Cost Plus sells it for $365.40. Though it’s not specifically an MS medication, 30 tablets of 10 mg baclofen costs me $11 via my usual mail order pharmacy. The Cost Plus price is $4.20.

Other discount prescriptions services

Cost Plus is joining several other services that offer discounted medications. I’ve saved money using the GoodRx website. (It also has an app.) You can search for a medication on its homepage, and it will compare the retail cost at many pharmacies with the price you’ll be charged if you buy it using a no-cost GoodRx coupon.

There are also other discount sites, several of which were reviewed by the Miami Herald a couple months ago.

A little bit of research might save you a good deal of cash.

You’re invited to visit my personal blog at www.themswire.com.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Comments

Sheri Gaines avatar

Sheri Gaines

I get dalfampridine from scriptco mail order for a great price.

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Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Sheri,

That's great. Thanks for sharing the info.

Ed

Reply

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