Back in March 2018, manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals discontinued sales of the popular asthma inhaler Qvar, and released a new device known as the Qvar RediHaler. Some claim that RediHaler is easier to use with a new spacer-free design and breath-actuated inhalation, but others argue that this rebranding was a way for Teva to hold onto patent exclusivity and ward off any generic competition.
Either way, the new Qvar RediHaler is expensive. The cash price for one RediHaler can be over $300, and with no generic in sight, we will be stuck with the expensive brand for some time. Here’s how you can save.
What is Qvar RediHaler?
Qvar RediHaler contains beclomethasone dipropionate, a popular corticosteroid used to treat asthma. It is also the first and only breath-actuated aerosol inhaler in the United States, and may help to promote correct inhaler technique. With Qvar RediHaler, you simply breathe in to release the medicine from the device. There is no priming and no canister to press, which eliminates the need for hand-breath coordination.
While your doctor will determine whether the 40 mcg or 80 mcg strength of Qvar RediHaler is right for you, the recommended starting dose is typically 40 to 80 mcg twice daily, approximately 12 hours apart. Common side effects include yeast infections of the mouth (thrush), cold symptoms, pain or swelling in the throat or nose, and hay fever.
When will generic Qvar RediHaler be available?
Unfortunately, not for some time. Since Teva just released the Qvar RediHaler, they have many years of patent exclusivity before any generics can come to the market. What’s more, inhalers are notoriously hard to replicate due to the complexities of the inhalation system, and even without the patent barriers, it could take many years for the FDA to approve an authorized inhaler generic.
Here’s how you can save while we wait for the generic.
Savings Tip #1: Use your insurance
The best way to save on Qvar RediHaler is to use your insurance. Qvar RediHaler is covered by most insurance plans, but many require that patients submit a prior authorization form or complete step therapy before they cover the drug.
If you find that Qvar RediHaler isn’t covered by your insurance plan, ask your doctor about an appeal. The exact process will depend on your insurance, but often requires that you work with your doctor to submit an appeal letter.
Savings Tip #2: Pay as little as $15 per month with a copay card
Manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals offers a copay card to help commercially-insured patients afford Qvar RediHaler.
|Savings||Your copay can be reduced to as little as $15.|
|How to get the discount||Sign up online to receive your copay card.|
|Restrictions||The program is for commercially-insured patients only.|
Savings Tip #4: Talk to your doctor about alternatives
Inhaled medications have greatly improved over the past decade, and many generics have come to the market. Talk to your doctor about comparable corticosteroid inhalers like Flovent, Pulmicort and Asmanex.
Clinical trials have shown that combination inhalers, that contain both a corticosteroid and a bronchodilator, may reduce asthma attacks more than corticosteroids, so you may want to talk to your doctor about inhalers like Symbicort or Advair.
Savings Tip #5: Use a GoodRx coupon
GoodRx and InsideRx have partnered with Teva Pharmaceuticals to help patients afford Qvar RediHaler. With this program, eligible patients can get a Qvar RediHaler for $189, a significant discount from the nearly $300 cash price.
Read more about this program, see the list of covered drugs and check to see if you are eligible at www.goodrx.com/brand.
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