Some people with asthma might have an easier time paying for a type of inhaler that’s more environmentally friendly. By the end of 2008, all all asthma inhalers will have to use propellants other than the CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) now used. CFCs contain ozone-depleting chemicals.
The new inhalers use hydrofluoroalkane (HFA), which donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t eat through the ozone layer. But the new inhalers cost a lot more.
The HFA inhalers cost from $30 to $60, compared with $5 to $25 for a generic CFC inhaler.
“UnitedHealthcare”:http://www.unitedhealthcare.com has announced that it has lowered the co-pay for the CFC-free brand-name inhalers.Ã‚Â As a result, a UnitedHealthcare memberÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s copay for CFC-free Xopenex will range from $5 to $10, depending on the memberÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s copay benefit.
It’s too soon to know if other insurance companies will do the same.
The shortage of current CFC-containing generic and brand-name inhalers is expected to increase until the complete phase-out deadline of Dec. 31, 2008. Ã‚Â Physicians are recommending that asthma patients begin transitioning to the new CFC-free inhalers.