Cost Plus Drugs Review: How Much Can You Save?

Cost Plus Drugs Review: How Much Can You Save?


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Cost Plus Drugs is an online pharmacy founded by Mark Cuban that markets itself on transparency and affordability. The brand advertises “Huge Drug Savings” in bold font right on its homepage.

But is Cost Plus Drugs really cheaper than other online pharmacies or are these just marketing claims? Does the site take insurance? And how do real users rate and describe the experience of buying medication on Cost Plus Drugs?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we compare drug prices between Cost Plus Drugs and Amazon Pharmacy (another leading online pharmacy brand) to see how much you can save on Cost Plus Drugs.

We’ll explain if the site takes insurance, what the best option is for patients with and without health insurance, and share real, unsponsored user reviews of Cost Plus Drugs.

Cost Comparison

Here’s a cost breakdown of various randomly-selected medications between Cost Plus Drugs and Amazon Pharmacy:

Metformin (diabetes med) 500 milligrams (mg)

  • Amazon Pharmacy: $13.20 retail ($2 with Prime)
  • Cost Plus Drugs: $3.90

Sildenafil (ED med) 20 mg

  • Amazon Pharmacy: $238.50 retail ($11 with Prime)
  • Cost Plus Drugs: $4.80

Nadolol (blood pressure med) 20 mg

  • Amazon Pharmacy: $71.70 ($16.70 with Prime)
  • Cost Plus Drugs: $6.90

Trazodone (sleep med) 50 mg

  • Amazon Pharmacy: $16.20 ($3.80 with Prime)
  • Cost Plus Drugs: $4.80

Levonorgestrel - Ethinyl Estradiol (birth control med) 0.03 - 0.15 mg 

  • Amazon Pharmacy: $20.44 ($14.10 with Prime)
  • Cost Plus Drugs: $6.09

Atorvastatin (cholesterol med) 20 mg

  • Amazon Pharmacy: $84.90 ($8.90 with Prime)
  • Cost Plus Drugs: $3.90

Clearly Cost Plus Drugs is the superior option on a cost basis alone. Cost Plus Drugs medication prices are 93% cheaper than Amazon Pharmacy’s retail price and 46% cheaper than Amazon Pharmacy’s Prime prices based on the randomly-selected medications in our review.

Does Cost Plus Drugs Take Insurance?

Cost Plus Drugs does not accept most insurance plans at the time of publishing this article. The brand’s FAQ page lists a few insurers they accept such as Capital Blue Cross, Rightway and others. They do not appear to accept the major U.S. insurers, but mention that they plan to be adding more insurance coverage in the coming months.

For individuals without health insurance, Cost Plus Drugs seems like the best option by far from a cost perspective. We haven’t come across any online pharmacies that come close to competing on their prices. 

As we documented in our review of another online pharmacy called For Hers, many competitors to Cost Plus Drugs have prices nearly 10x as high for the same medication.

For individuals with health insurance, which online pharmacy is the best option is unclear because prices vary based on insurer, medication and coverage.

We recommend checking prescription prices with insurance across all major online pharmacies including Cost Plus Drugs, Amazon Pharmacy (which does take insurance), Brightside and more.

A YouTube video published by the Wall Street Journal shows how Mark Cuban is trying to disrupt the industry with lower costs: 

Real, Unsponsored Cost Plus Drugs User Reviews

A TikTok creator named “lookawaypls0” made a video after receiving a Cost Plus Drugs shipment of birth control and seems happy with the price and convenience:

@lookawaypls0 Reply to @lookawaypls0 final update! #costplusdrugs @Mark Cuban ♬ original sound - lookawaypls0

Another TikTok user named “Aunt Buffie” seems happy about the potential cost savings for one of her medications:

@justbeingbuffie #costplusdrugs might be the new #crawlbeforeyouball #pharmacy #markcuban #blacktiktok @Mark Cuban ♬ original sound - Aunt🫖 Buffie

Does Cost Plus Drugs Have Insulin?

Many patients are curious about whether Cost Plus Drugs carries insulin, given that this is one of the most commonly-prescribed drugs.

The online pharmacy does not currently sell insulin.

However, according to NBC, Cost Plus Drugs may be currently testing a program that would offer insulin for under $60 per month. We hope that the trial goes well, because according to a recent research review, the average monthly retail price of insulin is nearly 10x that amount.

Customer Complaints About Cost Plus Drugs

While most online reviews of Cost Plus Drugs appear to be very favorable, there are some customer complaints about the brand. 

Cost Plus Drugs has a 2 out of 5 star rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. While this sounds low, it’s actually higher than most brands we’ve reviewed with a BBB profile, given that this is the site where customers typically go to complain about a product or service.

A customer named “Debra I” claims that the company was frustrating to engage with about product issues:

“Oh how I wish I could give zero stars! Horrible delivery. HORRENDOUS customer service. Nothing but canned, robotic communication. Tell you you will be credited in 5- 10 days then backtrack and say there was ‘miscommunication’. Horrible.”

To the credit of Cost Plus Drugs, the brand replies to most of the negative reviews and tries to rectify the situation, which is the sign of a high-quality brand.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Cost Plus Drugs is the first place that patients seeking prescription medication should look in our opinion. The website is intuitive, the prices drastically outperform competitors, and most online reviews are favorable.

For patients without health insurance, we consider Cost Plus Drugs to be the clearly best option, because it’s much cheaper on average than any other online pharmacy we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health.

For patients with health insurance, it may be worth comparing the retail price on Cost Plus Drugs with the price on other online pharmacies like Amazon Pharmacy which accept insurance. Cost Plus Drugs has started accepting insurance, but at the time of publishing this article, they don’t yet appear to be working with any major providers.

We commend Mark Cuban for using his money and influence to do something genuinely good for patients in the U.S., and we hope that the brand offers insulin soon.