Here’s who’s paying less for inhalers in Pennsylvania, and how it happened

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By Ashley Adams

June 11, 2024

Pennsylvanians with asthma are seeing the price of their inhalers drop from $645 to $35, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act.

 

Here’s who’s paying less for asthma inhalers, and why:

Who: In Pennsylvania, more than 1 million adults and 9% of kids suffer from asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United Health Foundation.

What they’re saving on: Inhalers, which—until now—have been significantly overpriced in the US compared to other countries.

An investigation by the Democratic-led Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions noted that before the new price cap, drugmaker AstraZeneca charged $645 in the US for the same inhaler it charged $49 for in the United Kingdom.

What they cost now: Inhalers from AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, and GlaxoSmithKline have been capped to $35 a month.

The cost cap went into effect for AstraZeneca and Boehringer Ingelheim at the beginning of June. GlaxoSmithKline’s cap is expected to take effect by Jan. 1, 2025.

For AstraZeneca inhalers, both privately insured and uninsured patients will be eligible for the price cap.

For Boehringer Ingelheim inhalers, the $35 cap will be automatically applied at the pharmacy for the majority of patients with commercial insurance. Those without insurance can visit the company’s website where they can enroll for a copay card that will reduce the out-of-pocket cost to $35.

The price cap on GlaxoSmithKline inhalers will be available to all patients, regardless of insurance status.

What’s behind the price reduction?

The Inflation Reduction Act was largely touted as a win for climate change and clean

energy when President Joe Biden signed it into law in 2022. But it also included health care provisions that capped the cost of certain prescriptions for items such as insulin and inhalers.

Author

  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.

CATEGORIES: HEALTHCARE
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