Thursday, April 27, 2023

Podcast Episode Recommendations: The Pulse by Wharton Digital Health with Mark Cuban and GoodRx Co-Founder Doug Hirsch

The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania (you know, the Colonial-era Ivy League school which has a massive endowment due to the fact that the school began when Pennsylvania was still a colony back in 1740) has a health podcast. Those not in-the-know sometimes mistake University of Pennsylvania for Pennsylvania State University, which is the Keystone State's massive public university), so allow me set the record straight on that. The University of Pennsylvania's business school known as The Wharton School which is regularly ranked among the best business schools in the country and it has a price-tag to match, although most students feel the cost is worth it since they end up with excellent job offers when they finish. The Pulse by Wharton Digital Health is the health podcast produced by the business school at University of Pennsylvania and sometimes has interesting interviews.

The Pulse by Wharton Digital Health describes its mission this way: "Our mission is to capture the pulse of healthcare innovation spanning leaders across the healthcare ecosystem." Among the interviewers include Wharton students who are pretty well-informed about the topics (and the guests) they are interviewing.

The guest on the first episode of The Pulse Podcast by Wharton Digital Health I am sharing today is Mark Cuban. The interviewer is Alex Wess, who is a second-year MBA candidate at the Wharton School at UPenn. This conversation was interesting because it occurred after the company was already around for more than a year, plus they can discuss some of the business issues impacting the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company PBC business in the past year.

One gem of a quote from Mark Cuban was the following:

"The greatest trick PBMs ever pulled was convincing people they were saving money."

Quote from Mark Cuban of Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company on bringing transparency to pharmacy.

The episode itself can be visited at or you can listen to it below.

Beyond this particular episode of The Pulse was another interview conducted on October 4, 2021 with Doug Hirsch, who began a company (actually, he co-founded it) known as GoodRx. This week, GoodRx made news because the co-founders Doug Hirsch and Trevor Bezdek actually stepped down and have transitioned into new roles as Chief Mission Officer and Chairman, respectively. On April 25, 2023, GoodRx Holdings, Inc. announced that Scott Wagner had been appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective April 25, 2023. For more info on that announcement, visit the press release at for more details.

However, the October 4, 2021 interview with Doug Hirsch was another one worth listening to. The interviewer is Timothy ("Tim") Baker, who spent his time before Wharton in healthcare consulting with Oliver Wyman, working with large payer, provider, and pharma organizations undergoing large scale digital transformations. Tim also spent a year working in product management and business development at Practicing Wisely, a claims-based physician decision support asset. Tim is in the Healthcare Management program at Wharton. The podcast episode can be seen at while, again, I have included the podcast episode itself below.

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