Study shows potential savings on urology drugs with Mark Cuban Drug Company

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For 90-tablet prescriptions, the greatest costs saving were observed for solifenacin and oxybutynin, used for overactive bladder, and tadalafil, used for erectile dysfunction

A recent study published in Urology Practice suggests that the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company (MCCPDC) may offer patients cost savings on commonly prescribed urologic medications.1

The investigators found substantial variation in medication costs between pharmacies.

The investigators found substantial variation in medication costs between pharmacies.

The MCCPDC was launched in 2022 with the goal of reducing out-of-pocket costs for patients. The online pharmacy offers standardized, transparent pricing, with a 15% markup on the cost to manufacture each medication, plus small fees for pharmacist services and shipping.2

According to the authors of the current study, past research on the online pharmacy has focused on possible savings if Medicare were to purchase drugs at MCCPDC pricing. The current study aimed to assess the possible cost savings for patients with the MCCPDC compared with other mail-order pharmacies, local pharmacies, and health insurance.

To this end, the authors assessed possible cost savings on 12 medications widely prescribed by urologists. Data were collected for the MCCPDC, other mail-order pharmacies, and local in-person pharmacies near the zip code 40508, for Lexington, Kentucky. Out-of-pocket drug costs were obtained from the 2020 and 2021 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and the 2021 Medicare Part D spending data to compare MCCPDC costs to patients using health insurance.

Overall, the investigators found substantial variation in medication costs between pharmacies.

For 30-tablet prescriptions purchased outside of health insurance, the MCCPDC offered lower costs on 3 out of 12 of the drugs. For 90-tablet prescriptions purchased outside of insurance, the MCCPDC offered lower costs on 9 out of 12 of the drugs.

For the 90-tablet prescriptions, the greatest costs saving were observed for solifenacin and oxybutynin, used for overactive bladder, and tadalafil, used for erectile dysfunction. The cost savings for these drugs ranged from about $12 to $20 per prescription in comparison with the next lowest pharmacy prices.

When considering patients using insurance, cost savings on out-of-pocket costs for 30- and 90-tablet prescriptions were observed for abiraterone, used for advanced prostate cancer, in addition to sildenafil and tadalafil.

"Although our study found variation in pharmacy costs between medications, 90-tablet prescriptions through Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company had the greatest potential to directly reduce costs for patients taking common urologic medications," said lead author Van Schloegel, MD, in a news release on the findings.2 Schloegel is a urology resident at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington, Kentucky.

The investigators also analyzed cost saving with MCCPDC in comparison with Medicare pricing. Overall, the data showed cost savings for 5 of 12 medications compared with purchasing through Medicare, with substantial cost savings observed for abiraterone.

"Although the cost savings may not seem significant on a per prescription level, the total cost savings over a patient’s life on these often long-term medications or total cost savings to the health care system can be substantial,” wrote the authors.

They concluded, “MCCPDC may offer cheaper prices for patients filling urologic medications, especially at 90-tab prescriptions. This study is the first to show patients could save money using MCCPDC and has implications for physician counseling when prescribing common urologic drugs.”1

References

1. Schloegel V, Harris L, Harris A, Dropkin B. Evaluation of potential urologic prescription drug savings with Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company. Urol Pract. 2024;11(2):276-282. doi:10.1097/UPJ.0000000000000510

2. Mark Cuban Drug Company may offer savings for urology drugs. News release. Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott. February 21, 2024. Accessed February 22, 2024. https://www.newswise.com/articles/mark-cuban-drug-company-may-offer-savings-for-urology-drugs

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