Billionaire Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs will begin manufacturing its own medications this week

The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company will begin manufacturing its own medications in Texas this week, cofounder and CEO Dr. Alex Oshmyansky announced Monday during a White House roundtable on lowering health care costs.

“Cost Plus Drugs is proudly bringing pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the U.S., with advanced robotic and AI computer vision technology,” Oshmyansky said. “That allows us to pivot from making one drug type to another very rapidly—in principle, within four hours. 

“That way, whatever product is in shortage, we can start making that product.”

The company, which Oshmyansky launched in January 2022 alongside billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, will first manufacture commercial batches of epinephrine, which is used in EpiPens, and norepinephrine, which is used to increase and maintain blood pressure, for hospital patients in intensive care. Oshmyansky didn’t mention specific dates, only that production of these two drugs would begin “this week,” followed “shortly after” by pediatric oncology drugs.

“No parent should be told the chemotherapy their child needs is not available,” Oshmyansky said. “Nobody should not get the life-saving ICU medications they need or have to postpone their surgery because the common, cheap medications are just not available in the United States in the year 2024.”

Cost Plus Drugs’ 22,000-square-foot pharmaceutical facility in Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood originally had been slated for completion in late 2022. Just as important as the drugs themselves is the way in which they’re produced, Oshmyansky said: without middlemen. 

Pills decorated with dollar bills
The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company is grounded in the simplicity of buying drugs and selling them directly to consumers at low, transparent costs, Cuban said during a White House roundtable Monday, March 4, 2024.

GP Kidd—Getty Images

White House roundtable talks pharmaceutical middlemen

The subject of intermediary pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, dominated discussion during the White House roundtable Monday afternoon. Cuban was also in attendance, along with public and private leaders including Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Sandra Clarke, COO of Blue Shield of California.

PBMs, Cuban said, have been “shitting on independent pharmacies,” among other tactics that take advantage of the most vulnerable patients and “put stock price over health.” 

Cost Plus Drugs is grounded in the simplicity of buying drugs and selling them directly to consumers at low, transparent costs, Cuban stressed. The online retailer now carries 2,500 medications and plans to offer as many as legally possible.

PBMs work with pharmaceutical wholesalers to set up so-called source programs, which control 90% of drug purchasing in the U.S., Oshmyansky explained, noting Cost Plus Drugs will be as open about its manufacturing costs as it is about the prescriptions it currently sells.

“That way, we are profitable and sustainable,” Oshmyansky said, “but never extortionate.”

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