• Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

This popular asthma inhaler will be discontinued on January 1

Byusanewscart.com

Dec 29, 2023

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Instead, company will introduce an authorised generic version with an identical formula

This popular asthma inhaler will be discontinued on January 1.- goodrx
This popular asthma inhaler will be discontinued on January 1.- goodrx

Users of the widely-used corticosteroid inhalers Flovent HFA or Flovent Diskus are set to confront changes in 2024 as GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Flovent, has decided to discontinue the Flovent-branded products from January 1. 

Instead, the company will introduce an authorised generic version with an identical formula and device design, as outlined by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Despite the assurance of an identical formula, doctors express apprehensions about potential obstacles for patients if insurance providers do not cover the new authorised generics. 

Dr Robyn Cohen, a pediatric pulmonologist at Boston Medical Center, voiced concerns, stating: “This medication has been the most commonly used inhaled medication for the past 25 or 30 years. The fact that it’s being discontinued is going to be a huge shock to the system for patients, for families, and for doctors.”

Some patients may face challenges in transitioning to new alternatives, especially when considering options like Arnuity and Qvar, favoured by certain insurance carriers. Dr Christopher Oermann emphasised that these alternatives may not be suitable for children due to the breath capacity required for dispensing the medication.

The decision to discontinue the inhalers is attributed to GlaxoSmithKline’s effort to offer potentially lower-cost alternatives to US patients. This shift aligns with the removal of the cap on Medicaid drug rebates scheduled for January 1, following the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act. 

The cap’s elimination exposes manufacturers to potential losses when selling drugs to Medicaid, particularly as the price of Flovent products has risen nearly 50% in the past decade, according to GoodRx data.

As a response, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends discussing suitable alternatives, including authorised generics, with healthcare professionals and verifying coverage with insurance providers for those reliant on Flovent inhalers.

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