Apparently, Medicare has decided to list Xoponex under the same reimbursement codes as Albuterol, meaning the cost of Xoponex may drop as much as 70-80%. This could mean a lot for any person in need of a rescue drug, because it will provide doctors, RTs and patients with more options.
Of course this decision could be reversed, but if not, it could provide another cost effective option in the care of patients with COPD and asthma. Some studies have shown that patients given Xoponex in the hospital got better faster, other more recent studies show that Xoponex works no better than Albuterol.
And, while some studies initially showed that Xoponex has fewer side effects than Albuterol, more recent studies show otherwise. These new study results may or may not have had an effect on the Medicare boards decision.
Either way, doctors at Shoreline have been instructed to stop using Xoponex as a front line bronchodilator based on the more recent studies. For more information, check out this article.
Personally, based on my experience with Xoponex, I don't think it's worth the added cost. However, if the cost of Xoponex is going to be the same as Albuterol, doctors, RTs, hospitals and, most important, patients will be able to try both meds to see which one works best for them.