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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Can't afford Advair? Here's another option for you

With the economy the way it is, and so many people without jobs and/ or without insurance (and even people with insurance), we have been getting lots of questions such as the following:

"I have COPD and will be getting laid off at the end of this month, and without insurance, the pharmacy said advair discus will be about $150.00 per month. But I do not think there is a generic. Is there?"

I think this is a very important topic, because asthmatics who take their meds exactly as instructed by a doctor can really lead a normal life, and can do things that any other person can do, like run a marathon.

On the other hand, not taking your controller meds is a "contributing factor in asthma deaths," according to the authors of Fatal Asthma. And those most likely to be non-compliant with their asthma meds are those who of the low income variety. A tough economy can make many of us poor.

And, with poverty, comes the unfortunate outcome of having to make cuts in the budget. And, unfortunately, when those among us lose our insurance, and the cost of Advair shoots up from $10 a month to $150.00, this becomes an easy place to make the cut.

That's understandable. But don't use this as an excuse to stop taking your asthma meds. If you simply cannot afford Advair (or Symbicort), there are options for you.

A few months ago I addressed this topic here at the RT Cave with this post "8 ideas for those who can't afford Advair." This post was a list not just of ideas I came up with on my own, but ideas many of my readers

The best option on my list is the one that allows you to continue taking Advair at a cost that is affordable to you. This option involves calling the pharmaceutical company to see if they have a program available to help you afford Advair.

Joy Buchanan, producer at, offered the following advice for the above question.
"Our expert, Dr. James Thompson, has written a post about saving money on managing your condition here. Also, you should contact Advair's manufacture, GlaxoSmithKline at 1-866-518-4357. Companies have programs to provide their brand name drugs to patients for cheap (or, sometimes, free) if they meet the income qualifications. GlaxoSmithKline's program for Advair is called GSKAccess. Also, try these organizations for help with your prescriptions:* Partnership for Prescription Assistance*** TogetherRx

There are a lot of COPD and Asthma patients who have benefited a great deal from Advair. If your wallet is a little thin, at least this gives you another option to try to keep that Advair in your system.



Anonymous said...

Is salmeterol available as a generic on its own? Since Advair is that plus Flovent (sadly name-brand only), would it be cheaper to do them separately? Our Rx coverage is the same price for every name brand, so that wouldn't help us, but maybe would benefit someone paying out of pocket. We've also gotten several samples from the dr's office.

FYI, it's not just for COPD-5yo son is on Advair HFA for asthma.


Freadom said...

Unfortunately the Serevent Discus costs about $146 without insurance. Flovent alone costs about $118. So taking both alone would actually cost you more (note: the prices listed above are estimates).

Kirby Horton said...

GSK is a good company to work with in obtaining assistance. Our company, Rx Help, serves as a patient advocate for thousands of patients in need of assistance.

To qualify for assistance with Advair the patient must have no prescription insurance coverage and have an income at or below 250%of the Federal Poverty Level. The patient must also be a US resident. GSK also requires that an 'Advocate' be the contact person for the patient throughout the entire process. The application needs 3 signatures: patient, doctor and advocate.

I would be happy to try to answer any other questions you may have.

Kirby Horton

TKL said...

I take the Advair 250/50. My cost more like $230. I have a job with insurance but it's a "High Deductable plan" aka "Consumer Driven Health Plan". What frustrates me is not the insurance (out of pocket or from premiums the pharmacy is paid) but GSK and that the money I pay to them does not go to manufacturing or research costs, but MARKETING. Everytime I see a TV ad on the 6:30 news, I think .."Yeah I paid for that..."

Anonymous said...

It is sad when someone that has insurance has to pay a $4000 deductible, has to pay full price ($230)a month but ones without pay half that, or even less. Once the mandatory insurance goes into effect you can bet all aspects of medical will go up. Pharmacutical company have to be making a kings fortune. Quit researching treatment and find cures.

Anne Marie said...

Our company changed insurance coverage and now we have the high premiums and the $230 Advir. We just had a new baby and daycare bills so we don't have the money to cover such a high cost. I am sure we don't qualify for assistance from GSK but just because I make money doesn't mean it isn't already owed to someone else. Is there anything else that can be prescribed that will help- I am running out of options fast.

Mike and Amy said...

My wife and I each have a high deductible $3000.00 for each (6000 total). Her symbacort was $250 tonight. She is unemployed and my income goes for shelter, food and student loans.

Anonymous said...

think about this.... the president wants our insurance companys to pay for abortions but wont pay for our chronic illness maintenance medications like asthma meds which we NEED to live a quality life, why are they pushing generics, i don't think any of them work, or why don't they come up with a generic for advair? you can get a generic version in canada, i have ordered from them, they were actually out of Ohio.

Anonymous said...

I just bought the Advair equivalent(Evohaler) for four dollars and 50 cents for 120 doses in India(a 120 dose inhaler compared to a 60 dose Diskus), and the Salbutamol for two dollars and change. I had to work there on a one month long project. I bought one of each to test, it worked so well that I bought 8 Evohalers and 10 Salbutamols for less than $100 total. Can't fly to India? Better start befriending someone that does:)

Guy Talluto said...

My fiance got a script for Advair for her COPD and the insurance will not cover it. The cost for her scrip here in Dallas is over $400 and we can't afford it. We need to impeach the SOB who forced his healthcare agenda through and signed the death warrant of most Americans as now we do not have choices. If we eliminate insurance companies all together, health care would be at fair market pricing along with the perscriptions.

john bottrell said...

Check out the following link, because I recently wrote a similar post for healthcenteral with a ton more options than Rick mentions here. Click and past the following in a search engine:

Mark Usher said...


My name is Mark and I work for a television production company in London. We are making a documentary about counterfeit medication in America.

As part of the documentary we would like to speak to people who, due to financial constraints, are being forced to find medication online to keep their condition under control.

If you feel that increasing costs of medication are driving you to shop online for them then we would like to hear from you.

Please feel free to message me back or on my work email

kind regards


karen christopherson said...

Advair was this expesive before the health care act, it hasnt changed in years, this medication is not covered under insurance as a tier 1. That has nothing to do with the "healthcare" agenda. Its about companies making money off of asthma patients

john bottrell said...

Sure pharmaceutical companies must make a profit. However, the reason non-generic medicine costs so much is due to all the requirements to get a newer medicine approved by the FDA. The companies have to recoup this money, and they do so by transferring the cost to customers.