Tori Marsh - December 15, 2017
Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol) is a common maintenance inhaler, taken on a daily basis to treat asthma and COPD, but it’s not cheap. Cash prices average around $323 for one inhaler, and out of pocket costs for those who fill Symbicort regularly can be unmanageable.
Symbicort works well. Around 60% of people rate that Symbicort is ‘worth it’, according to our friends at Iodine. If Symbicort works well for you, or your doctor thinks it’s best for you, how can you make it more affordable? Here’s some information about Symbicort and how you can save. See More
Roni Shye - October 26, 2017
COPD, also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive lung disease that can cause persistent cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, excess mucus production, and frequent upper respiratory infections.
Treatment is often comprised of a variety of medications, and we have a new one to add to the list—Trelegy Ellipta—a once-daily single inhaler.
What is Trelegy Ellipta indicated for?
Trelegy Ellipta is a once-daily combination inhaler indicated for long-term treatment of patients with COPD, including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - August 03, 2017
Combination inhalers prescribed for asthma, smoking lung disease (COPD), or persistent cough after an upper respiratory infection are some of the top selling drugs in the United States. Several steroid + long acting bronchodilator combinations are currently available: the older Advair and Symbicort and the newer Dulera and Breo Ellipta.
Elizabeth Davis - April 10, 2015
As you may know from experience, or from one of our previous articles on changes in coverage in 2014 or 2015, it’s typical for prescription benefit managers (PBMs) to exclude medications from their national preferred formularies each year. These may be brands that have generics available, or generally expensive medications where your plan feels a cheaper alternative may work just as well.
It’s less likely that existing drugs will be added back to the preferred formulary (or at least removed from the exclusion list), but that happened this year in several cases for Express Scripts and Caremark—two major PBMs. See More
Roni Shye - April 08, 2015
When you drop off your medications at a pharmacy you may notice that the technician, intern, or pharmacist who greets you and takes your prescriptions may also ask you for an updated list of your allergies.
I have seen some patients annoyed by this life-saving question, while others seem to blow it off. Some of the remarks I have heard include, “It’s on file, I told you last time,” to “You don’t need to know this information. See More
Roni Shye - March 13, 2015
Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate and vilanterol), an inhalation powder used for the treatment of COPD, was the first Ellipta inhaler to become available back in 2013. Over the past two years or so, several more Ellipta options have entered the market.
Ellipta medications tend to be a bit more expensive, but some people prefer them to more traditional types of inhalers.
So, what is unique about the Ellipta device?
The Ellipta from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is their new platform inhalation device. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - June 17, 2014
Half of patients with asthma or COPD aren’t using their inhalers properly. Inhaler mishandling has dire consequences—but inhalers are getting much better. With new ones hitting the market every month, you need to get to know them.
Does it matter if your inhaler is a Diskus, Turbohaler or Ellipta? These are all dry powder inhalers (DPIs) and they all use a dry powder formulation of an active drug. They are different than the classic metered dose inhalers like Proventil HFA or Proair HFA. See More
Dr. Sharon Orrange - December 05, 2013
Enough of you were using Advair Diskus (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol) to make it one of the top 10 selling drugs last year. Now, Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager, will not cover it or Advair HFA (see more information here) and instead recommends Symbicort (budesonide and formoterol). So, what’s the deal?
Why do we need bronchodilators plus inhaled glucocorticoids in the first place?
Elizabeth Davis - October 29, 2013
For many Americans with health insurance, more than 50 popular brand-name drugs may no longer be covered starting in January 2014. Express Scripts and Caremark, companies that handles pharmacy benefits for more than 200 million Americans, are removing almost 50 brands from their formularies at the end of 2013. More information is below.
What are Express Scripts and Caremark?
Express Scripts and Caremark are companies that administer prescription drug benefits for many health insurance companies and Tricare. See More