Billionaire venture capitalist Mark Cuban has founded or invested early in hundreds of startup companies over the years. But only one of them, founded in January 2022, bears his name.
The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co. seeks to disrupt the $365 billion U.S. prescription drug market, which is rife with pricing inefficiencies. For example, one tablet of the Type 2 diabetes treatment Metformin costs over $500 at retail prices. But through Cuban’s company, the same tablet is just $46.20.
The company offers 350 prescription drugs at cost, plus a fixed 15% margin that still makes some prescription drugs significantly cheaper than their retail prices. The savings are made possible in part by eliminating the middleman in the prescription drug industry: Cuban’s company bypasses health insurers to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers.
The startup could have saved Medicare up to $3.6 billion in 2020 alone, according to a study by Harvard Medical School. But as significant as that number is, it pales in comparison to an even lower-hanging fruit in the fight to drive down healthcare costs: targeting the nationwide stress epidemic.
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Stress costs the U.S. economy as much as $300 billion per year, according to the American Psychological Association. A huge source of this is healthcare costs, with 65% of households reporting high levels of stress or anguish over treatment costs. Cuban’s company, should it succeed in slashing prescription drug prices across the board, could provide tremendous relief on this front.
But one startup is tackling stress directly. Founded in 2019, Sensate is the company behind a patented relaxation device that it says is the first of its kind. The novel patented technology uses infrasonic therapy to help the body’s nervous system recover from daily stresses.
Sensate grew revenue by 363% from 2020 to 2021, when it hit $2.8 million in revenue. Prominent venture capital backers include TenOneTen, Unlock Venture Partners and Expert DOJO.
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