He’s best known to most Texans as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks who became a star investor on TV’s “Shark Tank.” But Mark Cuban, who made his billions in the dot-com era, may soon become better known as the scourge of the pharmaceutical industry’s status quo if his latest project succeeds.
Shawn Shinneman is a contributing writer for Texas Monthly. His new article is “Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company.” He says Cuban has quietly launched the new venture in Dallas with an ambitious goal: to bring down the costs of prescription drugs while driving greater transparency in drug costs.
Shinneman told Texas Standard that Cuban, who is no stranger to investment pitches from out of the blue, became intrigued by an email he received with the subject line “Cold Pitch.”
The sender, a 36-year old doctor at Duke University named Alex Oshmyansky, had already launched a company that would buy generic drugs from manufacturers and resell directly to pharmacies, undercutting the middleman. Oshmyansky’s pitch? Scale up with Cuban’s financial backing.
Shinneman says Cuban had already been giving a lot of thought to the widespread disparity in the cost of prescription drugs, and the lack of transparency that makes cost-shopping difficult.
After a back and forth via email, Cuban convinced Oshmyansky to think bigger – to buy, package, distribute and eventually even manufacture pharmaceuticals while offering radical transparency in pricing. The new partnership quietly launched in May 2020, going public earlier this year. The company charges a standard 15% markup over manufacturing costs. Though the company currently has only one drug in its portfolio, the goal is to build out a distribution network, stamping the Cuban brand on a hundred different drugs, driving prescription costs down and, the founders hope, shake things up for big pharma.