In a surprise move, Mark Cuban last week announced plans to enter the generic drug business with a new company bearing his name. The famed investor – known widely for his appearances on Shark Tank – has actually been eyeing the pharmaceutical world for a while. Two years ago, Cuban decided to work with Alex Oshmyansky to sell low-cost medicines. A radiologist by training, Oshmyansky had already started a company with a similar goal but reached out to Cuban to jumpstart the idea. “He is super smart. Knows the technology, knows the industry and works his ass off,” Cuban wrote us in explaining why he got involved. We spoke with Oshmyansky about his plans for getting the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company off the ground. This is an edited version of our conversation.
Let’s talk about you and your background. You’re a physician, but before you got involved with Mark Cuban, you had started a company called OSH Pharmaceuticals. Why?
I’m a board-certified diagnostic radiologist, but I’d been angry for some time at the high cost of drugs for patients. I’ve had patients who had bad outcomes from high drug costs… I think it was five or five-and-a-half years ago when [Martin] Shkreli popped up. He bought a drug and sold it for however much money. For whatever reason, this just snapped something inside me. And I decided that I was going to start a nonprofit pharmaceutical company to make low cost versions of high cost drugs.