Marc Cuban's Cost-Plus
The good Paul Simm just shared his straw poll on Marc Cuban's latest project.
Here's my take: It may well be a success in that his celebrity status and marketing for sure help to reveal the absurdities within the drug supply chain and draw attention to the value proposition of the PBM/insurance complex.
Run as a compound pharmacy, Cuban's venture is essentially scaling up online what cash pharmacies have recently started up locally (e.g. Freedom in Ohio, Blueberry in Pennsylvania or Medsavers in Texas). Thing is, many patients still need face-2-face interactions with pharmacists as their key HCP - so you wonder if Cuban might plan to later integrate tele-consults or even roadmap some form of retail integration (DollarTree?) to make sure 300,000 US pharmacists continue to be adequately employed.
One angle I'd be curious in hearing more about in further discussions: Can we be content with forgoing use of our insurance simply because plans refuse to meaningfully pass on generic savings to beneficiaries? What are consequences for how future benefits would be designed if 90% of Rx are essentially eligible to skip the trad. supply chain?
And if we disintermediated brand and generic into two separate consumer channels, how will people's perception of value change? Drugs aren't food- it's not like all products at ALDI only hit the shelves there after they've been sold exclusively in non-discount supermarkets for 15 years...
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