Martin Shkreli is calling out billionaire Mark Cuban for allegedly misleading customers about how much they can save buying from his new online pharmacy.
Yes, it’s the same Martin Shkreli who bought the rights to Daraprim, a life-saving drug that for decades has been used to treat malaria and symptoms of AIDS, and jacked up the price by 5000%, or from US$13.50 to US$750 per pill.
Shkreli, who incidentally went to federal prison for several years for securities fraud, accused Cuban’s Cost Plus Drugs of making “exaggerated claims of cost savings” on a Substack that was launched on Monday.
His first example was leukemia “miracle drug” imatinib, which is the generic form of Gleevec, for which Cost Plus claims savings of 99%, but according to Shkreli’s “deep dive of the site,” it only really saves them…60%.
The next example was a little more substantial: the anti-parasitic albendazole, which based on his comparison against similar online pharmacies, saves a consumer US$0 of the claimed 90% if you figure in the shipping costs.
Cost Plus, on the other hand, claims that its prices reflect actual manufacturer prices plus a pharmacist fee, and a 15% margin.
When Cuban’s pharma venture was launched in January, many of the reports about it introduced the new company as the antithesis to what Shkreli did to Daraprim. He was painted as a sort of legal drug lord, leveraging the lack of regulation to rob people of life-saving medication.
Cost Plus, which Cuban claims does not spend on advertising to help keep prices low, relies purely on word of mouth, and has, since it was launched gained the praise of many physicians, celebrities, and regular consumers — some of which Shkreli mentions in his video.
Shkreli’s claims, as of this writing, have not been enough to cause some backlash against Cost Plus.
Information for this briefing was found via Martin Shkreli, The Daily Mail, The Independent and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.