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Prescription drugs are too expensive for many Americans. These companies are trying to change that

July 22, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

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It's an experience millions of Americans have had: you go to the doctor, get a prescription, take it to the pharmacy and get hit with a staggering bill, sometimes running into hundreds of dollars even if insurance covers a part of the cost.

"In the US, we're unique in letting drug companies basically set their own prices," Andrew Mulcahy, a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation who focuses on prescription drugs, told CNN Business.

The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company looks to cut out the many middlemen involved in the sale of generic prescription drugs, instead buying them directly from the pharmaceutical companies and selling them almost at cost.

Cuban told CNN Business in an email that he invested in Cost Plus "[because] it's obscene how much pharma companies over charge for generic drugs and how they do everything possible to hide their overcharging. " Attaching his own name to the company was a bid to raise more awareness, he added.

The goal, he said, is "to bring the prices down for as many generic drugs as we can and to be completely transparent about it so people start to understand how the industry works [and] why we are disrupting it. "

Oshmyansky said he founded Cost Plus around six years ago after seeing the controversy over "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli, whose decision to raise the price of life-saving AIDS drug Daraprim from $13. 50 to $750 in 2015 sparked a massive public backlash and at one point saw Shkreli referred to as the "most hated man in America. "

"There's an important reason to give companies an opportunity to set prices somewhere above what it costs them to make the drug and recoup their investment in R&D," Mulcahy said.

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