Many patients with lung diseases like asthma or COPD rely on daily medications to help prevent their symptoms and live healthy lives. Unfortunately, cost can be a barrier to accessing these medications – according to this recent health tracking poll by KFF 55% of adults are very or somewhat worried about affording their prescription drug costs. Over the past few years, a number of federal and state policies, as well as voluntary commitments from pharmaceutical manufacturers, have helped to reduce the cost of insulin for people with diabetes, and many stakeholders have now turned their attention to reducing the cost of inhalers for patients with asthma, COPD and other lung diseases. Read more about these recent changes and how they may impact the cost of your inhaler. 

Public Policies to Help Patients Afford Inhalers

Public policies can help reduce the cost of inhalers for patients. At the state level, Minnesota, Washington, and New Jersey have recently passed legislation capping the cost of an asthma inhaler at $25, $35, and $50 per month respectively. Patients will start to benefit from these laws in January 2025 and unlike the programs mentioned below, they are not limited to inhalers produced by certain companies. Additionally, last month, the Illinois legislature passed a bill limiting the cost of an inhaler to $25 per month. This bill, which applies to inhalers for asthma and other lung diseases, is awaiting the Governor’s signature and would take effect in January 2026. 

At the federal level, senators on the Senate Health, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee launched an investigation into the price of asthma inhalers in January 2024. There are also several bills at different stages of the legislative process in the U.S. House and Senate that would change the practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that could impact the cost of inhalers as well as other medications for the treatment of chronic conditions like lung disease. 

New Options to Help Patients Afford Inhalers

This spring, three companies announced new voluntary programs to reduce and cap the cost of their inhalers to $35 or less per month. 

Starting June 1, 2024; Boehringer Ingelheim will include the following inhalers for asthma and COPD in the new $35 copay program: Atrovent® HFA, Combivent® Respimat®, Spiriva® HandiHaler®, Spiriva® Respimat®, Stiolto® Respimat® and Striverdi® Respimat®. According to the company, most patients will see this discount automatically applied at their pharmacy. However, if your pharmacy does not participate in the program, or if you are uninsured, you can visit the company’s website to sign up for a savings card to access the discount. It is important to note that patients with government insurance, like Medicaid and Medicare, are not eligible for these discounts. 

AstraZeneca has also announced that patients will not pay more than $35 for the respiratory medications that they manufacture starting June 1, 2024. Patients with private insurance who use Bevespi Aerosphere® or Symbicort® can access $35 savings cards, while patients who with private insurance who use Airsupra® or Breztri Aerosphere® can access $0 savings cards. Patients then take these cards to their pharmacy to demonstrate that they should pay no more than this amount when they fill their inhaler prescription. The company will also offer a $35 savings card to uninsured patients who take these medications. Patients can visit AZ’s patient support website to access these savings cards and take them to their pharmacy. Once again, patients with government insurance are not eligible for these savings cards, but the AZ&Me program may provide some assistance to patients with Medicare coverage and others who meet additional eligibility criteria. 

Finally, GSK has also announced a $35 copay cap for Advair Diskus®, Advair® HFA, Anoro Ellipta®, Arnuity Ellipta®, Breo Ellipta®, Incruse Ellipta®, Serevent Diskus®, Trelegy Ellipta® and Ventolin® HFA. The company says that this program will take effect no later than January 2025, and more details will be available closer to that date. Patients who previously were prescribed Flovent® may recall that GSK discontinued Flovent® in January 2024. While an FDA approved Authorized Generic is now available, it will not be part of this program. 

Still Have Questions?

Navigating your options to reduce the cost of your inhaler can be challenging. If you still have questions about the cost of your inhaler, you can reach out to the American Lung Association’s Lung HelpLine for assistance. Our trained Lung Health Navigators also offer free one-on-one education programs to support those living with lung disease including COPD and asthma.

Learn more at or call 1-866-252-2959. 

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