There’s a new entrant in the inexpensive prescriptions market: ScriptCo, which looks a lot like Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs.
They sell medications — only generics — at rock-bottom prices, mailing them to customers. As with Mark Cuban Cost Plus, it’s a way to fight against the sometimes ridiculously high prices Americans can pay for their medications.
The ScriptCo business model is based on membership dues in addition to sales.
Based in Woodway, Texas, part of the Waco metropolitan area, ScriptCo is a couple of years old. Their business model: They buy medications from wholesalers and sell at the wholesale price, making money on their memberships and not on medications, the founder, Zach Zeller, told Fox4 News.
“Some of the biggest money savers we found? Generic Wellbutrin at 8 cents a pill. Generic Viagra at 17 cents a pill. The generic for Imitrex, a name brand that can cost $100 for each dose, found here for just 15 cents,” Fox4 wrote.
How much a month? $1.78, $10, $18.45 or $68?
I did a taste test — I recently ordered 90 days of a generic blood pressure medication, Olmesartan plus HCTZ, from Mark Cuban and paid $30 — $10 a month — plus $15 for express shipping for my prescription. Regular shipping would have been $5. I did not pay anything for a Cost Plus membership.
The same medication at ScriptCo would have cost $5.35 for 90 days — that’s $1.78 a month — with free shipping, the site told me. But I would have had to pay for a membership, either at $50 quarterly or $140 annually.
So with a monthly membership, I would have paid ScriptCo $18.45 a month.
At my local pharmacy, on my Medicare Part D medication plan, i was quoted $68 a month.
The ScriptCo membership is pricey: $140 for a year or $50 every three months on a quarterly plan. Mark Cuban Cost Plus does not charge for a membership. My Part D plan has a $7.20 monthly premium and a $480 annual deductible.
Prices for medications, including blood pressure meds, vary a lot. We’ve written before about this: “How much does olmesartan-HCTZ (Benicar) cost, $771.99 or $6?” and “How much does Olmesartan (Benicar) cost? $11.05 or $45 or $76 or $159 or $601?” Also: “How much does Losartan cost? $6.43 or $13? $26.25 or $63?” and “How much does irbesartan cost?”
Separate from the membership, ScriptCo works pretty much the same way as Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs works: Sign up, get your doctor to send prescriptions to them, pay and your prescriptions are mailed to you.
One difference: ScriptCo offers customers an opportunity to invest on its front page. Using StartEngine, a crowdfunding platform, they said on Oct. 15 that they had raised $170,500 from 129 investors of a planned raise of $1.07 million.
Crowdfunding is not uncommon in Startup World, where venture capital funding can be hard to come by and comes with lots of strings. The ScriptCo fund-raising page notes that “this investment is speculative, illiquid, and involves a high degree of risk, including the possible loss of your entire investment.”
Learn more: Our “How to save money on prescriptions” post.