With the cost of goods and services rising, even with wage and old age benefit increases, the dollar doesn’t buy what it did just a year ago. The cost of food, housing, gasoline, and utilities have spiked in many regions and older adults who frequently take multiple medications may be forced to choose whether they should fill their prescription or their pantry. But a new online pharmacy that was recently launched by billionaire investor Mark Cuban may hold hope for stretched seniors, and others, by offering more than 100 generic drugs at an affordable price.
The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs Company (MCCPDC) is a pharmaceutical wholesaler that supplies generic drugs straight to the consumer, bypassing the middleman and significantly lowering the cost of medications. The online pharmacy charges a 15 percent margin over the manufacturer price and a $3 pharmacists fee for generic medications. The standard markup on generics is at least 100 percent, according to a recent Forbes report, and in some cases can exceed 1,000 percent.
Cost Plus does not process prescriptions through insurance and customers must pay out of pocket for their medications and request a new prescription from their healthcare provider to order medications from the website. But with an average 30-day supply of the lowest dose of a generic for Lipitor (Atorvastatin) priced at $3.60 rather than the retail of $55.08, the online pharmacy may be far more affordable than a co-pay with insurance. For some medications like Mematine Extended Release (Generic for Namenda XR), used to treat dementia, the savings can be as great at $346.52 over retail.
According to the Health in Aging Foundation, people over the age of 65 take prescribed medications more frequently than any other age group in the United States. Most seniors take several medications to treat chronic illnesses or to prevent certain health conditions. But the soaring price increases in prescription drugs have outpaced inflation, making common medications unaffordable for many older adults on a fixed income.
Read more about prescription drug provisions in the Build Back Better Act, recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by following this link.