When Dr. Alex Oshymansky started a public benefit venture to combat the explosion in prices of certain prescription drugs, he attracted interest from Shark tank billionaire investor, Mark Cuban.
The Dallas radiologist started in 2015 with Osh’s Affordable Pharmaceuticals. Four years later, it marketed under the name “Cost Plus Drug Co by Mark Cuban, ”And donating medicine to those in need.
Before his commercial exploration, Oshymansky had been looking for ways to make prescription drugs less expensive for years. A mix of demands for FDA approval and lobbying causes occasional drug rates to skyrocket, and this had begun to make Cubans. “angry beep. “
After Osh’s first venture generated more than $ 1 million in a first round of seed capital, it caught Shark’s attention. Now under the Cuban brand, the private label agreement allows Oshymansky to buy from third-party vendors, take care of labeling and branding laws himself, and sell it at a deep discount while taking only a capped 15% off for those. Commertial expenses.
This method allowed the couple to reduce the cost of an antiparasitic drug called albendazole from its normal price range of $ 225 to $ 500, to just fifty dollars.
This was especially valuable to the Baylor College of Medicine, which needed thousands of doses of albendazole to complete a study they were doing on hookworm infections.
The malaise of the south
“The germ of the south” was a general term that characterized a curious lethargy and cloudiness of the brain, distended bellies and emaciated shoulder blades, found throughout the Deep South during the 20th century.
It was all caused by infections of the American hookworm, which even today infects large numbers of people, especially children, due to poor sanitary conditions and poverty.
One study conducted in Lowndes County, Alabama, from 24 households, found that 34% of stool samples contained the parasite, which albendazole killed quite quickly.
Cuban and Oshymansky donated their first 10,000 doses of the company’s supply of albendazole to Baylor and study author Dr. Rojelio Mejía so that volunteers from Alabama to New York who test positive for hookworm can immediately purge the parasite of their bodies.
Other pharmaceutical companies estimated that the number of doses donated by the two entrepreneurs would have cost $ 2 million, eliminating funding for a possible investigation to end the epidemic.
“We are delighted to be able to support the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor in their work to study and help eliminate hookworm in the South,” said Dr. Oshmyansky.
“We were very concerned that albendazole is extremely expensive in the United States, and we are happy to be able to make it free for this research and offer it at significantly lower prices to the rest of the US market.”
A Dallas Buyers Club
Currently, Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs only offers albendazole, but Oshymansky is working to find suppliers for other pharmaceuticals, with the company’s website targeting 100 new offerings by the end of 2021.
“There are no hidden costs, no middlemen, and no reimbursements only available to insurance companies,” says the company’s website, which describes its model as “radically transparent.”
They are also in the process of building a facility in Dallas where they will comply with labeling laws and offer rare disease drugs directly to patients or through outpatient facilities.
Finally, as helpful as all this is to American consumers and patients, the effect could be complex, as buying FDA-approved drugs from independent vendors before renewing and selling them at an extreme discount means a free-market dose. Competition is delivered to a market that is almost a government-run monopoly in which few competitors survive, despite millions of consumers clamoring for alternatives.
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