Mark Cuban Simply Shared a Actually Good Concept, However on the Worst Potential Time
If you’ve had good news to share lately, it’s been a frustrating time.
It was hard to get anyone to pay much attention besides the election – and the attempts to overthrow them and the insurrection, second impeachment and inauguration … It sucked all the oxygen out of the media ecosystem.
I suppose this was actually good news for people with bad news – scandal, disappointing numbers, for example – as they could post things with the reasonable hope that no one would notice.
But it also meant it was hard Getting attention to things that deserve attention. And that brings us to Mark Cuban.
There is no scandal; This is about a brilliant new company he’s a stake in. Last week, the Cuban tweeted about one of his new companies: Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, which is billed as a generic drug company where the main promise is “radical transparency” about the pricing of its drugs.
My colleague Jeff Haden has written about his details before, but in short, the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company says it will make generic versions of expensive drugs and sell them on a plus cost basis rather than whatever else the market might ask for could bear: 15 percent above the cost of manufacturing, distributing and marketing the drugs.
The company plans to bring 100 different drugs to market by the end of 2021.
The first drug is albendazole, which is used to treat hookworms – a disease caused by a worm parasite. “The most serious effect is blood loss, which in children can lead to anemia, protein loss, cognitive disabilities, and stunted growth.” for a statement from Baylor College of Medicine on the company’s plans.
Can you imagine if other consumer companies are following this business model?
Imagine if the auto companies promised to sell you cars for whatever price they were built plus a percentage? When airlines? For example, this is a more common pricing strategy for government contracts. This is one reason why this idea sounds fascinating.
There is also the fact that health care costs are a very big concern for most Americans. Medical debt is by far the number one reason 500,000 American families seek bankruptcy protection each year, according to a 2019 study.
In terms of drug costs alone, Canadians and Brits spend about $ 884 a year on prescriptions and associated medical costs. in the US it’s closer to $ 1,397.
All of this leads me to conclude that maybe it would have been for Cuban and his company to wait another month before announcing when all other distractions might have subsided.
I mean, the whole point of the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company is to get attention, right? Otherwise call it something generic and pharmaceutical – I don’t know, maybe Healthnovia. Or Drugtopia. We could brainstorm all day.
Or even stick to the original name: Osh’s Affordable Pharmaceuticals, named after its original CEO and founder Alex Oshmyansky, a doctor and PhD in mathematics who first associated Cubans with a cold email pitch in 2018.
I am not going to suggest that as a Cuban I know how to go about business. He’s on Shark Tank; I watch Shark Tank.
He is a multimillionaire and a household name. I’m not.
And, in fairness, he did talk a little about the company – mentioned it during a podcast in November, for example – but after the announcement and his tweet on Jan. 13, it got attention.
But if this article – written after the inauguration – is the first place you hear about Kuban’s new drug company, it may be the fact that a great idea was historically difficult to get attention for a week or two ago could have something to do with it.
Think about it next time you have good news to share – or perhaps more importantly, if you ever have bad news to bury.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
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