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AstraZeneca capping COPD, asthma medications at $35 a month

Many Americans will see a reduction in out-of-pocket costs for several medicines that treat asthma and COPD.
AstraZeneca capping COPD, asthma medications at $35 a month
Posted at 9:01 AM, Mar 19, 2024

Drugmaker AstraZeneca said it intends to cap out-of-pocket prices of four medicines used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to $35 per month for many patients.

Starting June 1, the drugmaker said Airsupra, Bevespi, Breztri and Symbicort will cost most patients no more than $35 a month out of pocket. The company noted that there are some restrictions but did not stipulate what those restrictions are. 

AstraZeneca added that the new price caps apply to those who are underinsured or don't have health insurance. 

“AstraZeneca’s expanded savings programs build on our longstanding commitment to addressing barriers to access and affordability for patients living with respiratory diseases to ultimately help patients lead healthier lives," said Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca CEO. "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 healthcare system so patients can afford the medicines they need, not just today, but for the future.”

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AstraZeneca's announcement comes two weeks after competitor Boehringer Ingelheim said it would institute a $35 per month cap on out-of-pocket costs for its portfolio of inhalers.

Currently, the list price of Airsupra is $475 for a 120-dose inhaler. The company said those with private insurance typically pay $52 per month. 

The list price for Breztri is $626 a month, but those with private insurance typically pay $55 a month. 

Both COPD and asthma are common diseases that affect a person's breathing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15.7 million Americans report being diagnosed with COPD. Meanwhile, nearly 25 million Americans report being diagnosed with asthma, the CDC said. 

According to the CDC, COPD cost Americans $49 billion in 2020, which was up by about $17 billion from 2010. Asthma costs Americans about $50 billion each year, the CDC says.

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