Bayer makes a deal on popular contraceptive with Mark Cuban’s online pharmacy

Mark Cuban's Cost Plus Drugs online pharmacy is adding the oral contraceptive Yaz from Bayer to its list of discounted medicines ...

SHOTS HEALTH NEWS – Bayer is the latest name-brand drugmaker to dip its toe into the world of Mark Cuban’s online pharmacy, Cost Plus Drugs.

The website offers drugs at steep discounts bypassing middlemen called pharmacy benefit managers. It mostly sells generics, but has been slowly adding brand name products as well.

Yaz birth control pills and Climara, a hormone patch for menopause, will both now be available for a fraction of their list prices, including Cost Plus’s standard 15% markup and shipping.

“As I look at our partnership with Cost Plus, I really look at this as a test and learn,” says Sebastian Guth, president of U.S. Pharmaceuticals at Bayer. “It’s a first initial step. We will learn and see what the results of this partnership are and may then decide to expand it further.”

The brand name drugs are both off-patent and face generic competition, including within Cost Plus, where the generics are even less expensive than the discounted name-brand options.

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But Guth says women often pay for both these drugs out of pocket, skipping their insurance. And they often prefer to use the brand name over available generics.

The Cost Plus partnership, he says, will expand access to patients.

Health insurance usually covers birth control

But according to Laurie Sobel, associate director of women’s health policy at nonprofit KFF, the benefit of the new arrangement for patients isn’t clear …


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