Can’t Afford Your Medicine?  Here’s Some Tips

Can’t Afford Your Medicine?  Here’s Some Tips

Asthma medicines can be quite expensive. This can be true even if you have good insurance. For instance, my monthly copay for Symbicort and Ventolin is $50 a month. But, there are ways to get around this. Here are some tips to affording your medicine.

  1. Ask For Free Samples. This is where your doctor gives you samples of the medicine. On many occasions, I have received free samples from my doctor. These free samples are given to doctors by sales representatives who want doctors to prescribe their medicines. A problem with this is that it’s getting harder and harder for doctors to get them. I have received many free samples over the years from my asthma doctor. But, the last time I talked to him, he said he can’t give them out any more. He said it’s not worth all the paperwork he has to fill out. If your doctor still gives them out, this is a great way to get free medicine.
  2. Look For Deals on pharmaceutical websites. Pharmaceuticals companies often offer deals. Using this strategy, I received a year’s worth of free Breo back in 2015. Using that same strategy, I just received and used a coupon for free Symbicort for a year. So, this seems to be the best way I’ve found to get free medicine. This beats paying a $50 copay for Symbicort each month. It definitely beats paying the full price, which is hundreds of dollars.
  3. Seek alternative medicines. Breo is a new and patented medicine. The copay for me is $100. For some inexplicable reason, my insurance loves Symbicort. The copay for this medicine is $50. So, I talked to my doctor and he and I both agreed that I should try Symbicort. The ability to try alternative medicines also allows you to take advantage of deals when they come up. For instance, for the longest time, I was taking Advair. There were no special deals for that medicine. So, taking Symbicort allowed me to take advantage of a special deal where I an get Symbicort free for a year. Next year, when that deal expires, I’ll be looking for other deals. Say Dulera offers a deal for free Dulera for a year. You can bet I’ll be on the phone with my doctor to get a prescription for Dulera.
  4. Check out websites designed to help. There are many websites whose volunteers are there to help you find deals. Examples include, but are not limited to Needymeds.org, RXAssist.org, RXHOpe.com, Partnership for Prescription, and National Conference of State Legislatures. There are also government assistance programs that help if you qualify. Examples here include medicaid.gov and medicarerights.org. So, these are also some nice options worth trying if you need it.

What to make of this?

Respiratory medicines, especially inhalers, can be very expensive. Thankfully, there are good people willing and capable of offering assistance. Listed here are just a couple ideas for getting deals on your medicine. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve taken advantage of any of these. Also, let us know if you are aware of other ideas for getting affordable or free asthma medicine.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (6)
  • Shellzoo
    5 months ago

    Just another suggestion… my pharmacist likes to let me know which of my meds has a generic, is better priced, has a coupon or that my insurance covers at a better price. The pharmacist can give you a wealth of information that helps us to make better choices.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi again, Shellzoo and thanks for the suggestion – it’s a good one! We appreciate your input. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Shellzoo
    5 months ago

    I have a Flexible Savings Account for my medical expenses. Each year I plan an amount of money to be taken pre-tax out of my paycheck. That money is used for medical expenses including prescriptions. Last year I got two crowns and 3 pairs of glasses using what was left at the end of the year. I was diagnosed with asthma in February this year and started on Advair. With my insurance and a coupon from the Advair site I have cut the cost down to $58 a month. I use my FSA to cover that expense since my doctor does not want to put me on Symbicort which my insurance prefers to cover. Next year I will double what I put in my FSA. I had no idea last October when I set it up that I would end up on an expensive inhaler but the FSA has made a huge difference and helped me afford the med my doctor wants me to be on.

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator author
    5 months ago

    Hi. Shellzoo. Reverse symbicort and Advair, and your story is almost identical to mine. FSA accounts sure are nice. John. Site Moderator.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi Shellzoo and thanks for sharing the financial aspect of what works for you in managing your condition. I’m sure others will read of your experiences and possibly get some ideas as to how this can help them. We appreciate your input. Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi John – this is an excellent article. It’s very timely, too, in view of the many posts on our Facebook pages that focus on medication expense.
    Thanks for doing the work!
    Regards,
    Leon

  • Poll