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Boehringer Ingelheim Unveils New Out-of-Pocket Cap Initiative for its Inhaler Product Portfolio

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Starting June 1, Boehringer Ingelheim plans to cap inhaler products for respiratory diseases at $35 per month for eligible patients.

Asthma inhaler with cartridge on wooden table. Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/Africa Studio

Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images/Africa Studio

Boehringer Ingelheim announced plans to limit the out-of-pocket costs for its inhaler products at $35 monthly, aiming to significantly reduce the financial burden on vulnerable patients, especially those without insurance or are underinsured. According to the company, the decision was based on its commitment to ensuring access to critical medications for individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma who face difficulties affording their treatments. The covered products include Atrovent HFA, Combivent Respimat, Spiriva HandiHaler, Spiriva Respimat (1.25 mcg and 2.5 mcg), Stiolto Respimat, and Striverdi Respimat.1

“Patients have counted on Boehringer Ingelheim for nearly 140 years to tackle challenges across diseases, including respiratory illnesses,” said Jean-Michel Boers, president, CEO, Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation, in a press release. “The US healthcare system is complex and often doesn’t work for patients, especially the most vulnerable. While we can’t fix the entire system alone, we are bringing forward a solution to make it fairer. We want to do our part to help patients living with COPD or asthma who struggle to pay for their medications. This new program supports patients with predictable, affordable costs at the pharmacy counter. We will also continue to advocate for substantive policy reforms to improve the healthcare system.”

This isn’t the only area in which healthcare caps are being employed. According to a press release written in January, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced an out-of-pocket cost cap for patients with Medicare in New York. Crediting the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Schumer believes that a cap of $3,300 will cut costs for millions of New York residents. This includes a $35 insulin cap for Medicare patients.2

"A major shot in the arm to lower sky-high drug costs for New York’s seniors has just arrived thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act. Now New York seniors will not have to pay more than $3,300 a year for prescription drugs and will help end the decision making like choosing between buying life-saving medications and keeping food on the table,” said Senator Schumer, in the press release. “It means more money in the pockets of New York seniors and less in the pockets of Big Pharma, a win-win and just what the doctor ordered.”

Reportedly, an average of one in every 25 seniors will pay over the cap for prescription drugs on an annual basis, including treatments for multiple forms of cancer, cystic fibrosis, organ transplants, and hypertension.

“Every single year, people with a previously clean bill of health are told they have something like cancer or cystic fibrosis or they need an organ transplant,” Schumer said in the release. “It’s not something you can plan for or expect. It comes out of the blue and upends your entire world. And with that diagnosis, they’re told the drug they need to save their life could be more than $10,000. Never again. Now, seniors can rest assured that if God forbid they do receive a hard diagnosis, the drugs they need will be affordable.”

References

1. ​​Boehringer Ingelheim caps patient out-of-pocket costs for its inhaler portfolio at $35 per month​. Boehringer Ingelheim. March 7, 2024. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/us/press-releases/boehringer-ingelheim-caps-patient-out-of-pocket-costs-inhaler-portfolio

2. SCHUMER REVEALS: THANKS TO THE INFLATION REDUCTION ACT, NEW YORK SENIORS NOW, FOR FIRST TIME EVER, HAVE A CAP ON THEIR MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG SPENDING HELPING LOWER COSTS FOR 3+ MILLION NY-ERS ON MEDICARE AND SAVING SENIORS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ON HEALTHCARE. Senate.gov. January 4, 2024. Accessed March 8, 2024. https://www.schumer.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/schumer-reveals-thanks-to-the-inflation-reduction-act-new-york-seniors-now-for-first-time-ever-have-a-cap-on-their-medicare-prescription-drug-spending-helping-lower-costs-for-3-million-ny-ers-on-medicare-and-saving-seniors-thousands-of-dollars-on-healthcare

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