A Maverick Pharmacy

Excessive drug costs frustrate even billionaire Mark Cuban. To cope, in 2022 he started Cost Plus Drugs, an online supplier of generic medications at competitive prices.

Cost Plus Drugs currently sells about 800 generic medications. To access them, simply create an account at costplusdrugs.com/create-account/. Ask your doctor to call in the prescription; then, place your order and wait. You’ll pay Cost Plus’s cost along with a 15% markup, taxes, shipping, and handling. 

Intrigued, I set up an account. My medication via my pharmacy costs nearly $1.30 per pill. Cost Plus charges $0.47, about a third of the cost. I had to wait for delivery but not long; the medicine arrived four days after I registered.

Cost Plus doesn’t accept insurance, although you can pay with a health savings account. The site is easy to navigate, but it does require internet access and computer skills. 

Patient advocate Teri Dreher, founder of NShore Patient Advocates in Chicago, supports seniors saving money at discount pharmacies but recognizes at least one downside: There’s no friendly pharmacist behind the counter to answer your questions and verify a drug’s safety. 

“The more corporate you go, the more gets missed,” she says. Dreher advises everyone to check that their doctor approves of a generic for a particular medication. Then, go to drugs.com and input all medications to look for possible adverse interactions between them. 

Originally published in the Winter/Spring 2023 print issue.