Price Watch: Company Vows to Cut Costs of Inhalers

March 29, 2024

As more Americans worry about health care costs, one pharmaceutical company is going to cap out-of-pocket costs on inhalers.

AstraZeneca says it will cap the costs at $35 a month beginning June 1. The CEO, Pascal Soriot, says the company is committed to accessibility.

“AstraZeneca’s expanded savings programs build on our long-standing commitment to addressing barriers to access and affordability for patients living with respiratory diseases to ultimately help patients lead healthier lives,” he said in a statement.

Amidst soaring health care costs, AstraZeneca’s latest move offers a glimmer of hope for asthma and COPD patients.

Is there a catch?

It could be that the company is feeling a chilly wind out of Washington D.C.

Earlier this year, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions launched an investigation into inhaler prices. Several senators wrote four major inhaler companies, asking them to lower prices, pointing out companies that charge upwards of $300 for inhalers in the United States, while selling the same product for just $26 in Britain.

This move echoes a similar initiative by AstraZeneca’s competitor Boehringer Ingelheim.

“If AstraZeneca and Boehringer Ingelheim can cap the cost of inhalers at $35 in the United States, these other companies can do the same,” said Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a press release.

In response, patient advocacy groups, including the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, have endorsed efforts to make asthma medications more affordable.

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