Boehringer Ingelheim to Cap Out of Pocket Inhaler Costs at $35 Per Month

Drug Topics JournalDrug Topics April 2024
Volume 168
Issue 03

The out-of-pocket price cap applies to all inhalers in the company’s portfolio and will launch on June 1, 2024.

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim has announced a $35 per month cap on out-of-pocket costs for all of the company’s inhaler products for eligible patients, according to a news release.1 The program will “dramatically reduce costs at the pharmacy counter” for patients who are under- or uninsured.

The out-of-pocket cost cap will go into effect on June 1, 2024. The list of inhalers includes:

  • Ipratropium bromide HFA (Atrovent HFA) inhalation aerosol
  • Ipratropium bormide and albuterol (Combivent Respimat) inhalation spray
  • Spiriva HandiHaler (tiotropium bromide inhalation powder)
  • Spiriva Respimat 1.25 mcg (tiotropium bromide) Inhalation Spray
  • Spiriva Respimat 2.5 mcg (tiotropium bromide) Inhalation Spray
  • Stiolto Respimat (tiotropium bromide and olodaterol) Inhalation Spray
  • Striverdi Respimat (olodaterol) Inhalation Spray

“The US health care system is complex and often doesn’t work for patients, especially the most vulnerable,” said company president and CEO Jean-Michael Boers. “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.”

Boehringer Ingelheim's out-of-pocket cost cap will apply to all inhalers in the company's portfolio. | Image credit: Orawan -

Boehringer Ingelheim's out-of-pocket cost cap will apply to all inhalers in the company's portfolio. | Image credit: Orawan -

Approximately 24 million individuals in the United States are living with asthma, according to the Allergy and Asthma Network.2 More than 11 million Americans are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and an additional 12 to 14 million may have COPD but not know it.

READ MORE: Study: Biologic Therapies Improve Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Severe Asthma

Among adults aged 45 years and older with COPD, medical costs of the disease reach $24 billion, including $11.9 billion in prescription medication costs, $6.3 billion in inpatient costs, and $900 million in emergency room costs.3 Per patient, COPD related medical costs are $4322 on average each year; between 2000 and 2018, these costs increased 72%.

Asthma also represents a significant financial burden: between 2001 and 2011, the number of individuals living with asthma increased by 28%, with a 6% increase in associated costs between 2002 and 2007—$53 billion to $56 billion—and direct costs per person, per year are estimated to be $3259.4

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 16% of those with asthma reported high health care costs, spending more than 10% of their income for out-of-pocket expenses. These individuals were also the most likely to not continue receiving treatment. Since 2009, prices of inhaled asthma medications have increased approximately 50%, representing a significant financial burden and creating barriers to continued treatment.

READ MORE: Respiratory Resource Center

  1. Boehringer Ingelheim caps patient out-of-pocket costs for its inhaler portfolio at $35 per month. News release. Boehringer Ingelheim. March 7, 2024. Accessed March 7, 2024.
  2. When asthma meets COPD. Allergy and Asthma Network. Accessed March 7, 2024.
  3. COPD trends brief: burden. American Lung Association. Accessed March 7, 2024.
  4. Cost of asthma on society. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Accessed March 7, 2024.
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