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AAFA is pushing to lower the costs of asthma and allergy medicines, including inhalers. We know the high cost of medicine can be a barrier to treatment.

Some major asthma inhaler manufacturers have announced $35 a month caps on out-of-pocket costs. The price cap will apply to people with commercial/private insurance or no insurance. The inhalers that will be price capped include:

AstraZeneca (effective June 1, 2024):

  • AIRSUPRA® (albuterol and budesonide) inhalation aerosol
  • BEVESPI AEROSPHERE® (glycopyrrolate and formoterol fumarate) inhalation aerosol
  • BREZTRI AEROSPHERE® (budesonide, glycopyrrolate, and formoterol fumarate) inhalation aerosol
  • SYMBICORT® (budesonide and formoterol fumarate dihydrate) inhalation aerosol

How it works:

  • Commercially insured and covered: You can pay as little as $0 for AIRSUPRA and BREZTRI and pay no more than $35 for SYMBICORT and BEVESPI using the savings cards provided on brand websites. 
  • Commercially insured but AstraZeneca inhaler is not covered in your plan: You or your health care providers can request a prior authorization or ask your doctor about a therapeutic alternative. 
  • Uninsured: if eligible, you can use the $35 uninsured savings card accessible on the US Patient Support site. 
  • Government insured (Medicare/Medicaid):  Federal law prohibits people on government programs from using a savings card, which is why they may be directed to AZ&Me. Qualifications for AZ&Me are based on where you live, insurance status, and income.
  • For additional questions or more information, visit AstraZeneca’s patient support site or call: 1-800-236-9933

Boehringer Ingelheim (effective June 1, 2024):

  • Atrovent® HFA (ipratropium bromide HFA) inhalation aerosol
  • Combivent® Respimat® (ipratropium bromide and albuterol) inhalation spray
  • Spiriva® HandiHaler® (tiotropium bromide) inhalation powder
  • Spiriva® Respimat® 1.25 mcg (tiotropium bromide) inhalation spray
  • Spiriva® Respimat® 2.5 mcg (tiotropium bromide) inhalation spray
  • Stiolto® Respimat® (tiotropium bromide and olodaterol) inhalation spray
  • Striverdi® Respimat® (olodaterol) inhalation spray

How it works:

  • If you have commercial insurance and are eligible, the reduced out-of-pocket cost will be automatically applied at participating retail pharmacies. More than 90% of pharmacies across the country are participating in the program, making the change seamless and automatic for most people. There are no forms to fill out or websites to go to – the discount happens electronically with no action required.
  • All other eligible people, including those whose pharmacies do not participate and people without insurance, can visit www.InhalerOffer.com to enroll for a savings card to present at pharmacies to receive the same $35 cap of out-of-pocket costs.
  • Federal law prevents people on government insurance programs (Medicare/Medicaid/TriCare) from being eligible for this price cap program.

GSK (with price change going into effect no later than Jan. 1, 2025):

  • Advair Diskus (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder)
  • Advair HFA (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation aerosol)
  • Anoro Ellipta (umeclidinium and vilanterol inhalation powder)
  • Arnuity Ellipta (fluticasone furoate inhalation powder)
  • Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate and vilanterol inhalation powder)
  • Incruse Ellipta (umeclidinium inhalation powder)
  • Serevent Diskus (salmeterol xinafoate inhalation powder)
  • Trelegy Ellipta (fluticasone furoate, umeclidinium, and vilanterol inhalation powder)
  • Ventolin HFA (albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol)


We did it! We took awareness of asthma inhaler pricing all the way to the White House!

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) joined President Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders in April for a briefing on health care costs and inhaler pricing.

Jenna Riemenschneider, AAFA Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, and Kenneth Mendez, AAFA President and CEO, attended the White House briefing on health care costs and asthma inhaler pricing.

The White House invited AAFA President and CEO Kenneth Mendez and AAFA Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy Jenna Riemenschneider in recognition of our advocacy work to advance health equity for people with asthma.

Read more about the briefing.



AAFA is leading the way to reduce health care costs for people with asthma

"On behalf of the 27 million people in the United States with asthma, we appreciate the leadership of President Biden and Senator Sanders to bring down costs for asthma treatments. Pricing announcements made in March by some manufacturers of inhalers will mean lower costs and improved access to asthma medicine for many people with asthma starting this June,” said AAFA President and CEO Kenneth Mendez. “As President Biden indicated, more can and should be done. It’s not just drug companies, others need to step forward. We welcome continued efforts to improve affordability and accessibility of these essential medicines so all patients can get the treatment they need.”

AAFA continues to raise the voice of the patient community and draw attention to the ways America’s complex drug pricing ecosystem makes asthma medications more expensive for people who need them most. Drug manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, insurers, employers, and the government must work together to improve affordability and access.

Access to affordable drugs is a critical component of reducing racial disparities in asthma. Black and Hispanic individuals not only experience higher rates of asthma but also are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured. Deaths due to asthma – although decreasing overall – occur at a much higher rate in the Black and Puerto Rican populations than in the White population. Black individuals are nearly three times as likely to die from asthma than White individuals.

Last fall, AAFA shared patient stories and its Asthma Disparities in America report with the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee which then launched an investigation into the high price of asthma inhalers early this year.

AAFA’s research indicates that when the cost of medicine becomes a barrier to treatment, people with asthma resort to rationing or simply discontinue use.

Access to asthma medications can save lives, reduce hospitalizations, and lower the more than $82 billion in annual costs to the U.S. economy from this chronic disease. But the U.S. health care system is complex, and often leaves patients with few affordable options.

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  • Jenna Riemenschneider, AAFA Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, and Kenneth Mendez, AAFA President and CEO, attended the White House briefing on health care costs and asthma inhaler pricing.: Jenna Riemenschneider, AAFA Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, and Kenneth Mendez, AAFA President and CEO, attended the White House briefing on health care costs and asthma inhaler pricing.

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Comments (11)

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If you want more lowered drug prices for persons on Medicare  - Vote! The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by teh Biden Administration, finally allows the government to finally negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower prices.  I fear if Biden does not win again in 2024, all that will be for nothing.

G

This is a great question, @BaLu. Contacting your state and local representatives is a great way to make your voice heard. AAFA also speaks with policymakers on behalf of those with asthma and allergies to advocate for access to affordable medications. Sharing community stories like yours helps us with these discussions. You can share your story by emailing us at stories@aafa.org. Sharing your story locally or via social media is another way to spread awareness of this issue and the importance of accessible medication.

Moe M.

I see in this report that the $35 cap on our asthma medications will be for those with commercial/private insurance or no insurance. Does that mean that those of us with supplemental medication insurance who are on Medicare will still be paying co-pays of over $100 for our inhalers?

Correct, this price cap goes into effect for those with commercial or no insurance. Government insurance is a separate problem that AAFA is still working to address. The pricing system is very complicated and there is still a lot of work to do to ensure everyone has access to affordable asthma medications. Affordable access to healthcare is one of AAFA's key policy issues.

Moe M.

I see in this report that the $35 cap on our asthma medications will be for those with commercial/private insurance or no insurance. Does that mean that those of us with supplemental medication insurance who are on Medicare will still be paying co-pays of over $100 for our inhalers?

JJ
@Helen posted:

Any idea if Medicare will cover it now? Been using it for years and suddenly it’s not covered

First, I'm very sorry Medicare is no longer covering the meds you need. If you haven't already, check for any drug assistance programs that may be able to help lower the cost - Drug Assistance Program

Yesterday AAFA met with the White House about inhaler costs. Starting in 2025, the cost of all prescription medicines for people on Medicare will not exceed $2,000 a year. AAFA will keep working with policymakers to take additional steps to lower costs, including through the Medicaid program. You can find more info about the White House briefing here - AAFA’s Advocacy for Health Equity Leads to White House Address on Asthma Inhaler Pricing

Moe M.

Last year I had to switch from Symbicort to Advair discus because my monthly copay for Symbicort had risen to almost $400, and my plan didn’t cover the generic. Advair generic was more affordable, about $200 monthly, but still expensive and beyond my means, so I started to get it not through my health insurance but through a drug discount plan that gets its meds from out of the country and takes about a month to get to me, but costs $125 for a three month supply. It’s been tough, so hearing this news gives me hope. I’ll believe it when I see it though. Thanks for the great content and always keeping abreast of the latest news.

A
Last edited by Arle
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