AstraZeneca Caps Inhaled Respiratory Portfolio at $35 For Eligible Patients With Asthma, COPD

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The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America applauded the efforts by AstraZeneca, saying accessibility and affordability can help reduce racial disparities in asthma.

AstraZeneca has expanded its savings program for the entirety of its United States inhaled respiratory portfolio, capping costs for eligible patients at no more than $35 per month, according to a press release. By expanding the savings program, the company hopes to make inhalers more affordable and accessible for patients living with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including for those who are uninsured or underinsured.1

Cartridge and blue medicine inhaler in a room front view | Image Credit: Davizro Photography - stock.adobe.com

Image Credit: Davizro Photography - stock.adobe.com

“AstraZeneca’s expanded savings programs builds on our longstanding commitment to addressing barriers to access and affordability for patients living with respiratory diseases to ultimately help patients lead healthier lives. We remain dedicated to addressing the need for affordability of our medicines, but the system is complex, and we cannot do it alone. It is critical that Congress bring together key stakeholders to help reform the health care system so patients can afford the medicines they need, not just today, but for the future,” Pascal Sorior, CEO of AstraZeneca, said in the press release.1

The expanded program will start June 1, 2024, and will include albuterol and budesonide (Airsupra), glycopyrrolate and formoterol fumarate (Bevespi Aerosphere) inhalation aerosol, budesonide, glycopyrrolate, and formoterol fumarate (Breztri Aerosphere) inhalation aerosol, and budesonide and formoterol fumarate dihydrate (Symbicort) inhalation aerosol.1

Previously, the company reduced the list price of Symbicort on January 1, 2024, and will continue to provide discounts and rebates off the list price to help patients afford their respiratory medication, according to the press release.1

Key Takeaways

  1. AstraZeneca is capping patient costs at $35 per month for their entire portfolio of inhaled respiratory medications used for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  2. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America praises AstraZeneca's initiative and urges other manufacturers to follow suit.
  3. AAFA commends the US Senate Committee's investigation into high inhaler costs, hoping it will lead to solutions.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) applauded the efforts by AstraZeneca in a statement released by the organization.2

“AAFA applauds AstraZeneca’s announcement to cap costs of asthma inhalers and urges other manufacturers to take similar steps to make medications more affordable and accessible,” Kenneth Mendez, president and CEO of AAFA, said in the statement. “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 operate in a perverse system that drives prices higher—and all stakeholders must work together to improve affordability and access.”2

AAFA said that access and affordability can help to reduce racial disparities in asthma, stating that Black and Hispanic individuals have higher rates of asthma but are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured. In the statement, the organization also added that death due to asthma is higher in Black and Puerto Rican populations compared to White populations.2

Additionally, AAFA applauded the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions after launching an investigation into the high costs of inhalers for the treatment of asthma earlier in 2024, according to another statement. The organization shared the patient perspective with the committee as well as research to help with the investigation framework, the statement read.3

References
  1. AstraZeneca caps patient out-of-pocket costs at $35 per month for its US inhaled respiratory portfolio. News release. AstaZeneca. March 18, 2024. Accessed March 21, 2024. https://www.astrazeneca-us.com/media/press-releases/2024/astrazeneca-caps-patient-out-of-pocket-costs-at-35-per-month-for-its-us-inhaled-respiratory-portfolio.html
  2. AAFA Statement in Response to AstraZeneca Asthma Inhaler Cost Announcement. News release. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. March 18, 2024. Accessed March 21, 2024. https://aafa.org/aafa-statement-in-response-to-astrazeneca-asthma-inhaler-cost-announcement/
  3. AAFA Applauds Senate Investigation into Pricing of Asthma Inhalers. News release. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. January 9, 2024. Accessed March 21, 2024. https://aafa.org/aafa-applauds-senate-investigation-asthma-inhaler-prices/
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