Surprised at the cost of your inhaler after the beginning of the year? Previously, inhalers such as albuterol or Xopenex contained chemicals which are harmful to the ozone layer. The new inhalers contain more ozone-friendly chemicals. The new environmentally-friendly inhalers work as well as the old inhalers. The main difference? You guessed it…the price. A previously 4 to 10 dollar co-pay may now be as high as 30 to 40 dollars. The reason? The new inhalers are brand name only – currently, there are no generics. There are other changes for these inhalers so it’s important to read instructions provided even if you have used an inhaler for years.
As always, if cost is an issue? Don’t share your inhaler or skip doses. Ask your healthcare provider about alternatives or coupons from the manufacturer. I’m pharmacist Tom Carey for SwedishAmerican’s, A Health Dose.