Mark Cuban’s drug company to sell name-brand diabetes drugs

On Monday, the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs Company (MCCPDC) announced via Twitter that it will begin to offer two branded diabetes drugs, Invokana and Invokamet, produced by Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. A month’s supply of these drugs, the first non-generics it has offered, will cost patients around $244, over 60 percent less than average retail prices. Prescriptions for these diabetes drugs fell from nearly 2M in 2020 to under 1M in 2022, and a key Invokama patent will expire next year, both factors that may have influenced Janssen’s decision to partner with MCCPDC.

The Gist: MCCPDC estimates that as many as 1M people who use these or similar drugs could benefit from the lower prices—not only the uninsured but also those considered “underinsured” due to high deductibles. 

Even though the deal is for two drugs with declining revenues, selling brand-name drugs from a pharmaceutical heavyweight is a notable step for the company.

As Congress continues to investigate PBMs for driving up drug spending through their pricing tactics, MCCPDC’s move offers a path to PBM disruption through direct competition. By cutting out the rebates retained by health plans and PBMs, MCCDPC can potentially offer better net payments to pharmaceutical companies, as well as reduced cost-sharing for patients—an arrangement that benefits both parties at the expense of traditional PBMs.

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