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Albertsons now accepts Mark Cuban pharmacy card

Retailer joins Kroger, Meijer, others in the benefit network co-founded by celebrity investor

All pharmacies operated by Albertsons Cos., including Safeway, Sav-on and others, now accept the Team Cuban Card from Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs.

The card, which Cost Plus Drugs describes as a “benefit” and “not a discount card,” allows users to pay reduced prices for several prescription medications, based on prices that the online pharmacy retailer negotiates with suppliers. Users are generally charged a 15% markup on the price the company pays for the drug, plus an $8 dispensing fee, which goes to the retail pharmacy, and a $1 processing fee.

The card had previously rolled out to Kroger, Meijer, and several independent pharmacies.

A spokesperson for Albertsons referred Supermarket News to a LinkedIn post by Cost Plus Drugs, which notes that the Team Cuban Card is available at all 1,728 Albertsons-owned pharmacies across 34 states.

Mark Cuban, the investor perhaps best known for his role on Shark Tank, co-founded Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs as an effort to find a solution to the high cost of prescription drugs. Although it launched as an online pharmacy retailer offering a limited number of generic prescriptions, it has since expanded through its partnerships with retail pharmacies, the addition of in-house drug manufacturing capabilities, and a growing roster of pharmaceutical suppliers. It now offers more than 2,000 different prescription medications.

The company said it seeks to avoid the “middlemen” — namely, the big pharmacy benefit management companies (PBMs) that set drug prices — and pass the savings on to consumers. The company describes itself as a public-benefit corporation that prioritizes its social mission of improving public health.

“No American should have to suffer — or worse — because they can’t afford basic prescription medications,” Cuban says in a statement on the Cost Plus Drugs website.

Cost Plus Drugs unveiled its partnership with Kroger last year, shortly after it launched the Team Cuban Card.

The company’s growth comes amid increasing scrutiny of drug prices and PBMs, including bipartisan calls for government intervention at both the state and national levels.

“Immediate action is needed to address these harmful practices by PBMs,” a group of U.S. senators from both parties said in a letter to Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer this month. “Americans deserve and expect protection from inflated prescription drug costs, forced pharmacy closures, formulary manipulation, and barriers to their pharmacy of choice that result from harmful PBM tactics. We urge you to work as early as this month to enact specific PBM reforms that address these concerns and capitalize on the bipartisan effort and momentum in the House and Senate.”

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