miércoles, 25 de enero de 2023

USA: Cost Plus Drugs..."radical price transparency".


Cost Plus Drugs, the pharmacy backed by billionaire investor and reality TV star Mark Cuban, promised radical price transparency when it launched in January. 


Cuban pledged to price every product exactly the same way: consumers would pay the manufacturer’s

cost, plus a 15% markup, a $3 handling fee for the pharmacist and $5 for shipping

The company, which has gained a reported 1.2 million customers, sells more than 1,000 generic drugs. Take the cancer therapy

 Gleevec, which has a list price for patients of $9,600

The Cost Plus price? $47.

While about 80% of prescription drugs are off-patent, roughly 80% of the $365 billion that the U.S. spends annually on pharmaceuticals goes toward branded drugs. 

When the business launched, Cuban vowed that he would eventually add brand-name meds to his site.

But if the Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark Tank” investor has made significant inroads in that space, he’s been quiet about it. The question thus becomes whether Cuban & Co. can eventually sell more expensive medicines, such as specialty biologics, for the same terms under which he’s selling older pills.

Harold Paz, EVP of health sciences at Stony Brook University of Medicine and former chief medical officer at Aetna, referred to Cuban’s healthcare foray as a “disruptive experiment.” But when it comes to delivering low prices on newer medicines, Paz is keeping his expectations in check.

I do think it offers a promise, given where we are today and the opportunities we have to create a much better alignment with discovery, innovation, value and ultimately improving lives,” Paz said at a recent forum tackling topics including drug pricing.

Today’s healthcare system is notoriously fragmented. The actual price paid by the patient is a composite of multiple – and often siloed – interests. They range from manufacturers to wholesalers and from pharmacies to pharmacy benefit managers and insurers. Removing layers from this equation, in addition to upping transparency, is where Cuban hopes to make an impact.


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