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Getting Asthma Inhalers

I just got free Symbicort for a year. Yay! And it was easy. Well, sort of. This is actually the second time I got a free inhaler for a year. A few years ago it was Breo. Today it was Symbicort. Free is good. You can’t beat free. Here’s how I did it and how you can too.

Some tips at getting inhalers cheaper

  1. Look out for offers. Asthma inhalers tend to be very expensive. This is especially true when they are under patent. Once the patent expires, usually generic medicines are made. This causes a rise in competition and a drop in prices. In the meantime, we have to deal with higher prices. The good news is, many pharmaceuticals want you to try their medicines. They want you to fall in love with them. For this reason, they will often offer deals on their websites.
  2. Know what medicines are similar. Advair, Symbicort, Dulera, and Breo are all similar medicines. They are all combination inhalers that include an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) and a long-acting beta-adrenergic (LABA). The best way to get deals is to be willing to change inhalers when a deal comes along.
  3. Check pharmaceutical websites. Check out the website of the medicine you are currently on. Back in 2005, I was on Advair, so I checked out advair.com. They didn’t have any offers. In 2015, mybreo.com had a deal for free Breo for a year. Today, my symbicort has a similar deal.
  4. Talk to your doctor. So, I was on Advair from 2003 until 2015. That year, my doctor suggested I try Breo. He said it might work better than Advair. But, more important, he said I can get a coupon on mybreo.com. The coupon was for one free Breo for one year. Quite often, doctors know about deals before you do. But, sometimes, it’s the other way around. So, again, you and your doctor can work as a team to find the best medicine and to find the best deals on these medicines.
  5. Be open-minded. We asthmatics tend to be stubborn. When we find a medicine that works, we tend to not want to try something new. Not all of us, I’m sure. But, that’s the way I am. Or, at least the way I was for a long time. After talking with my doctor, I decided this was not the best attitude. Perhaps one of these other similar medicines might work better for me than Advair. So, I decided to be open-minded about trying something new. So, I decided to try Breo. And that’s what opened the door to getting free Symbicort today.
  6. Get a prescription from your doctor. Once you and your doctor agree on making a change, your doctor must write a prescription. There’s no way of getting around that. Once you get a prescription, go to the website of the makers of that prescription. Follow the prompts. It’s easy. At mysymbicort.com, it took me less than a minute to get the coupon into my iPhone wallet. I called in the prescription. I went to the pharmacy. I showed my pharmacist my coupon. About two minutes later I was walking out of the pharmacy with my first free Symbicort.
  7. Pay attention to how the medicine is working. I ended up going the whole year using Breo. It was nice because each month I picked up my inhaler and paid nothing. Again, you can’t beat free. The medicine worked great for me. I did feel more jittery than when I took Advair. But, overall, Breo was a nice inhaler. But, if the medicine failed to work as intended, or if side effects were too great, of course, I’d have no choice but to call my doctor. I’d have to get another prescription for Advair or one of the other similar inhalers.
  8. Know when the offer expires. Well, all good things come to an end. After a year, the offer ended. With my insurance at that time, my copay for Breo was way more than my copay for Advair. So, my doctor wrote me a prescription for Advair. I was back on Advair. I was once again on the lookout for other deals.
  9. Keep on the lookout for more offers. Lo and behold, I learned from a friend that symbicort.com had a link to another good deal. This was was for free Symbicort for a year. Yay. Can’t beat free. I followed the link, and five minutes later I had a coupon. I talked to my doctor. I got a prescription for Symbicort. And I called it in. Today, I picked up my first free Symbicort. It was easy.

What to make of this?

Again, free is good. I’m going to be taking Symbicort for the next year. Once the year is up, I will keep my eyes open for other deals. I see that dulera.com has an offer for one free inhaler. So, that’s better than nothing. Have you ever taken advantage of similar offers? Let us know in the comments below.

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

  • FeelingShy
    11 months ago

    My doctor almost always has a pile of Symbicort flyers with coupons in them, so when the year expires you can just get a new one.

  • Shellzoo
    11 months ago

    My insurance will completely cover Symbicort but my Dr wants to keep me on Advair at the 500/50 strength so I am sorta stuck. Hopefully when I see the doctor again in December, I will be doing well enough to try it.

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator author
    11 months ago

    Free is good. But, you’re best to listen to your doctor. Symbicort has a higher dose, but I don’t know if it’s compatible with the 500/50 dose. If your asthma stays well controlled on Advair, it may be worthy of bringing up (again) at future appointments. Or are you done bringing it up? John. Site Moderator.

  • Shellzoo
    11 months ago

    I plan to bring it up at my next appointment. I had a lung infection this past summer but since taking doxycycline, I am breathing great. Sometimes so well I forget the whole asthma thing. Since I have improved so much, I expect they will try to lower my dose and maybe then I can get on the med my insurance prefers. For now I just keep taking my Advair because feeling like I don’t have asthma is pretty terrific.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    11 months ago

    Hi Shellzoo and thanks for keeping us updated. Do you think you should speak with your physician about the difference between the two medications and your insurance coverage? Please do keep us apprised of your progress. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    11 months ago

    Okay, Shellzoo – thanks for the reply.
    Leon (site moderator)

  • Shellzoo
    11 months ago

    Already did, they currently want to keep me on Advair.

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