Innovative Canadian Drug Manufacturer Medicure Acquires Marley Drug Pharmacy To Distribute Low-Cost Medications


In 2017, Medicure expanded its portfolio into the primary care market and began marketing Zypitamag (pitavastatin) tablets, a next-generation statin. This was a pharmaceutical alternative to a branded competitor with an established market share.

Medicure ran into several roadblocks as a company trying to get this medication covered by insurance companies and the associated pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

"There were times we offered remarkably high rebates of 75–80% of the listed price but we were still rejected (by PBMs). They said that while the net price was on par with generic statin pricing, the reason they (were denying) coverage was that it would 'hurt their quality metrics." – said Dr. Neil Owens, President, and COO of Medicure.

Tired of the PBM run-around and motivated to get Zypitamag to patients who could most benefit from its use, Medicure decided to bypass the PBMs and sell directly to US consumers. So, the company made a deal to purchase Marley Drug, an independent pharmacy licensed to dispense medication across the US.

On December 16, 2020, Medicure began selling directly through Marley Drug, making it one of the first manufacturers to use this game-changing model. They now offer this branded product, Zypitamag, at a cash price of just $1.15/day. This is 90% less than any other branded product available through insurance and is just as profitable to Medicure. Medicure also offers approximately 1,000 other FDA-approved medications through its pharmacy and E-commerce platform.

Pharmacists United for Truth & Transparency discusses Medicure's strategy in their purchase of Marley Drug pharmacy and what it could mean for branded medications and PBMs in the future.


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