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Saving money on the most commonly sought medications for asthma—albuterol, Advair, Flovent and Singulair—is important, especially for sufferers of a lifelong condition and those with tight budgets. After all, many patients cite cost as a reason for not using their medication as directed by their doctors. Here are a few ways to get the medicine you need at a price you can afford.
Albuterol is the generic form of many metered-dose inhalers, and also comes in tablet form and as a solution for nebulizers. You may know it by brand names such as ProAir HFA, Ventolin HFA and Proventil HFA. Because a number of manufacturers compete to sell albuterol, there are a lot of discounts available.
Some discounts come in the form of coupons, like this one for Proventil or this one for generic albuterol sulfate tablets. Others come in the form of manufacturer assistance programs, such as for Ventolin and ProAir, for lower-income households. These programs vary by manufacturer and may be available only to lower-income patients, but most manufacturers, like GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Ventolin, also have programs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries.
Fluticasone (Advair, Flovent)
Fluticasone is available in both generic and brand-name form, just like albuterol. Unlike albuterol, however, fluticasone for asthma is sold only under brand names like Advair and Flovent. These are not metered-dose inhalers, they are powders made for inhalation. Both drugs are made by GlaxoSmithKline, which offers the same manufacturer assistance program for both. GlaxoSmithKline also offers a manufacturer’s coupon for the Advair diskus, specifically.
Singulair is a tablet widely known as an allergy medication, but it is also prescribed to many asthma patients as a daily drug to prevent attacks. The best way to save on Singulair is to purchase the generic montelukast, which usually costs less than 10% of the price of brand-name Singulair and has been on the market since 2012.
If, for some reason, the generic version of Singulair is not right for you, there are still discounts for the brand name. Singulair’s maker, Merck, has an assistance program that you may be eligible for. This is also one of many drugs eligible for coupon cards like this one, which is reusable. If you are interested in a coupon card, know that the company will ask for personal information such as your mailing address, phone number and email address.
Other resources for online coupons
Other websites, like GoodRx, will compare drug prices at all pharmacies in your zip code, let you know if there are assistance programs available and even provide coupons you can print and redeem to get the lowest price. If you also suffer from allergies or other related conditions, you might consider purchasing your other medications from one of these sites as well. Similar websites such as RXPharmacyCoupons and HelpRx won’t tell you which pharmacies have the lowest prices, but can offer coupons good at a variety of locations. Still further, you might consider purchasing your allergy medications from an online pharmacy. Medication costs can vary by location, so using an online pharmacy can help you to avoid geographical cost differences.
Asthma inhaler and tablets image via Shutterstock.