Some thoughts, since I’ve been asked…
Ah yes, who better to criticize Cuban’s pharmacy than the man who is a convicted felon for fraud and is involved in big pharma. Let’s put two and two together shall we. Why would a man who this pharmacy hurts the business of want to make an article cherry-picking some of the company’s claims so he can prove that it’s “fraudulent” when he is the one who has literally been convicted of fraud.
Just to cross check, I pulled up a random news article to grab other medication names under this claim (Actos/pioglitazone). CostPlusDrugs has it advertised for $6.60 + $5 shipping = $11.50 total. GoodRx has three different listed delivery options for under $10 with free shipping.
Disappointing to say the least, that the mass marketing of this is founded on some illusion of hope that someone's finally making a difference. Good read, thank you.
Question is how many gullible people are there that will just fall for this type of marketing?
I had initial impression. I could save this $ by buying generic at my local Walmart pharmacy at their prices or through GoodRx. Not a big deal
DiRx has been mentioned alongside Cuban’s company and GoodRx. DiRx actually was the first to launch the model of sourcing direct from manufacturers, went live a few months before Cuban’s, offers a larger portfolio of generics (1400+ skus) and it’s prices include free shipping unlike Cuban’s where you add $5 shipping on top of the price you see. When you do the math, they’re cheaper for a majority of products (barring a few exceptions).
On the other hand, according to this paper, US pays too much for generic drugs:
But this paper by RAND alleges that US pays less for generic drugs (although pays more for branded drugs):
In any case, it is clear that US pays a lot more than other countries for medicines. Movement towards single-payer and using health technology assessment tools like QALYs and innovative payment mechanisms such as value-based-pricing and pay-for-success contracts will help incentivise more healthy years at lower cost.
For example, it is possible to use a Pay-For-Success contracts to incentivise repurposing of generic drugs to provide billions of dollars in cost savings for a relatively small-sized incentive (e.g. $100-200m). This is similar to the Netflix-style subscription model proposed for antibiotics (https://www.pinsentmasons.com/out-law/news/new-antibiotics-added-nices-netflix-style-subscription-service). The FDA's Priority Review Voucher (PRV) programme (https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-20-251.pdf) could also be extended to address this market failure, but at the moment, drugs where the active ingredient has been approved for one indication are not eligible for PRV. This is nonsensical as the value is not in the active ingredient, but the treatment protocol (and clinical trial data) showing which active ingredients are effective for which patient populations.
Our DeSci project Crowd Funded Cures, is a crowdfunding platform to create demand for clinical trial data validating safety and efficacy of open source / public good / unmonopolisable therapies (e.g. repurposing off-patent drugs, nutraceuticals, plant medicines, psychedelics, diets and lifestyle interventions) without reliance on patents using IP-NFTs, Pay-for-Success (PFS) contracts, and crowdfunded Open Source Medical Prize NFTs.
See short explainer here about how Pay-For-Success contracts can help millions of people:
More of a deeper dive (including the crypto aspect):
King of cherry picking 👑
I'd rebut, Mark's pricing model is different from PBM companies as he removes the middle-man price markup. Please refer to pricing models for PBM companies, as well as pharmacy retail stores as the main / core business function, as this is a comparison of apples to hamburgers. If you review pricing on generics with direct consumer purchasing, such as CVS, Walgreens, and other large retail pharmacies, you'll find these statements you make are patently false. The pricing models are skewed by a significant magnitude. Take for example, Fluoxetine, which sells at CostPlusDrugs for $3.90 & Walmart for $4.00, sells at CVS $48.29 & Walgreens for $47.65. That's the Texas market. I note you didn't cite any pharmacy retail stores here, simply the large box stores that fit into your analysis. Though you are correct in your comparison with GoodRx and other similar online platforms. The difference is that with these programs, there's a lot of hoop-jumping. With Mark's platform, the patient purchases the pharmaceuticals at the stated price, no coupon needed, no hoop jumping. Mr. Cuban's pharmacy isn't a large box store, subsequently, I'd implore you in your next analysis that you ensure to point out these remarkable differences, as they are required in a factual and complete analysis on said topic. Moreover, I'd ask that you perform a competitive analysis, perform an accurate and comprehensive 1:1 comparison so that it doesn't seem disingenuous.
My riff on the above: https://thefrontierpsychiatrists.substack.com/p/the-devils-advocate-martin-shkreli?r=1ct8f&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&utm_source=direct (And I feel free to cross refer on substack :)
Great article, thx.
Cubans Coinbase- like company which imploded was also falsely represented.
The model of paying depositors 9% on their Crypto was proved to be a fast-talking lie. It is video taped and then pulled to shreds by a knowledgeable crypto guy. Cuban is sitting with the head of the company and nodding in agreement. Not sure if Cuban knew the guy was spewing bullshit but if you are promoting the company, he should know the fundamentals.
First example from article:
Claimed savings: 99%
Actual savings: 60%
Eat my ass faggot
Same question for EQRx — where’s the savings?
The real way to offer transparency is to list NADAC price. CMS has collected this data for its own cost plus model (NADAC + flat dispensing fee), and the numbers are available to anyone.
WAC, AWP, MAC etc are all literally just made up figures.
Great quick article. When I first saw it advertised I was really skeptical on the pricing and it turns out it was too good to be true. That's for the insight, Martin!