medicine pills and bottles


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.

Whether you know him as one of the less cutthroat judges on "Shark Tank," as longtime owner of the Dallas Mavericks, or for being one of the richest entrepreneurs in the world, Mark Cuban has a new venture: the Cost Plus Drug Co., launched in January as an online pharmacy aimed at providing affordable and easy access to prescription drugs. 

The pharmacy claims to at least halve the costs charged by mainstream pharmacies and big-name players. Drugs such as imatinib, a leukemia treatment, retail for about $9,657 a month or $120 a month with a common voucher, according to Cost Plus. At Cuban's pharmacy? Just $47 a month, according to Cost Plus. 

"Every American should have access to safe, affordable medicines," a statement on its website says. "Many people are spending crazy amounts of money each month just to stay healthy. No American should have to suffer or worse because they can’t afford basic prescription medications."

"We will do whatever it takes to get affordable pharmaceuticals to patients," said Alex Oshmyansky, chief executive of Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug and a radiologist, in a news release. "The markup on potentially life-saving drugs that people depend on is a problem that can't be ignored. It is imperative that we take action and help expand access to these medications for those who need them most."

@thedailyshow "I can't be bought. My next dollar isn't gonna change my life, but if I get a change to f*ck up the pharmaceutical industry?" @Mark Cuban is trying to make medication affordable with Cost Plus Drugs #DailyShow #foryoupage #fyp #markcuban ♬ original sound - The Daily Show

Frequently Asked Questions

How does MCCDPC offer such low price points?

Cost Plus says it bypasses intermediaries and forgoes most markups to get closer to "actual manufacturer prices." The Dallas, Texas-based company says it avoids giving a cut to pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical agents by using Truepill, a nationwide ecommerce network, to fill prescriptions and deliver drugs. The cost breakdown is transparent, Cuban says: "We'll mark it up 15%, we'll add a $3 pharmacy handling fee and $5 shipping, and that's all you ever pay," Cuban told Geoff Bennett on PBS. “That simplification and transparency has really had an impact.”

What kind of medications are covered?

Though the pharmacy’s inventory at launch consisted of coverage for only 100 generic drugs, it has expanded to more than 700, according to its website. Supported by a robust network of suppliers, the pharmacy hopes to provide comprehensive treatment for many chronic conditions — from managing diabetes, arthritis, and hypertension to providing prescription drugs for multiple forms of cancer. 

A list of medications covered by Cost Plus is in a searchable database, along with detailed information on generic versions of name-brand medications you may be taking and whether they are available.

How do I enroll with MCCDPC?

Ask your primary health care provider to fill out a prescription form and submit it directly to Cost Plus. Before signing up, make sure the prescription you need is available on the site. If your medication isn't listed, you can submit a request for the brand to add their supplier to Cost Plus' network. 

Once the pharmacy gets prescription information from your provider, it will prompt you to create a login. Once in the site, "we will always show you the full price before you confirm your order and pay," it says. 

Cheapism in the News