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Giant, online drug company may offer savings for urology drugs

online pharmacy
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An online pharmacy offering standardized, transparent pricing can reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients taking common medications prescribed by urologists, suggests a study in Urology Practice.

"Although our study found variation in pharmacy costs between medications, 90-tablet prescriptions through Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company [MCCPDC] had the greatest potential to directly reduce costs for patients taking common urologic medications," comments lead author Van Schloegel, MD, of University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Transparent pricing lowers costs for many urology drugs

Founded by US entrepreneur Mark Cuban in 2022, the MCDPDC aims to "end ridiculous drug prices" for generic prescription medications. The online pharmacy offers transparent pricing, with a 15% markup on the cost to manufacture each medication, plus small fees for pharmacist services and shipping.

Previous research has suggested that Medicare could reduce drug costs by buying through MCDPDC, with potential savings of $3.3 billion. The new study focused on whether MCDPDC pricing could lower patients' costs for patients taking common urologic medications.

The study focused on 12 drugs widely prescribed by urologists. Out-of-pocket costs to patients were compared for MCDPDC versus other online pharmacies and for local in-person pharmacies, with or without or Medicare coverage.

For 30-tablet prescriptions purchased outside of , the MCCPDC offered savings on just three of the 12 drugs. The data showed substantial variation in costs between pharmacies.

Study provides 'practical information' on filling prescriptions

For 90-tablet prescriptions, MCCPDC had lower costs for nine out of the 12 medications. The greatest savings were seen for solifenacin and oxybutynin, used to treat ; and for tadalafil, used to treat erectile dysfunction. For these drugs, MCCPDC saved about $12 to $20 per prescription compared to the next-lowest pharmacy price.

Analysis of Medicare pricing also showed savings through MCDPDC, including substantial cost reductions for the hormonal drug abiraterone, used to treat advanced prostate cancer. Overall, MCCPDC saved money for five out of 12 medications, compared to buying through Medicare.

"Although the 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," the researchers write. Some patients might see greater savings, especially considering the wide variation in .

That's especially so considering the substantial cost variations shown by the study data—which emphasize the need for consumers to "-shop" to find the best prices. Dr. Schloegel and co-authors conclude, "Our study is the first to give practical information on MCCPDC to urologists when prescribing these common medications to patients."

More information: Van Schloegel et al, Evaluation of Potential Urologic Prescription Drug Savings With Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, Urology Practice (2024). DOI: 10.1097/UPJ.0000000000000510

Citation: Giant, online drug company may offer savings for urology drugs (2024, February 21) retrieved 24 April 2024 from
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