AAFA Statement in Response to AstraZeneca Asthma Inhaler Cost Announcement

Washington, DC, March 18, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) welcomes efforts to make asthma medicines more affordable and accessible. AAFA continues to lead advocacy efforts to change the drug pricing ecosystem on behalf of the 27 million people in the United States with asthma.  

AstraZeneca announced it will cap out-of-pocket costs for its entire U.S. inhaled respiratory portfolio at $35 per month for patients who have commercial insurance or no insurance.  

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“AAFA applauds AstraZeneca’s announcement to cap costs of asthma inhalers and urges other manufacturers to take similar steps to make medications more affordable and accessible,” said AAFA President and CEO Kenneth Mendez. “AAFA continues to raise the voice of the patient community and draw attention to the ways America’s complex drug pricing ecosystem makes asthma medications more expensive for people who need them most. Drug manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, insurers, employers, and the government operate in a perverse system that drives prices higher—and all stakeholders must work together to improve affordability and access.” 

Access to affordable drugs is a critical component of reducing racial disparities in asthma. Black and Hispanic individuals not only experience higher rates of asthma but also are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured. Deaths due to asthma—although decreasing overall—occur at a much higher rate in the Black and Puerto Rican populations than in the White population. Black individuals are nearly three times as likely to die from asthma than White individuals.  

Last fall, AAFA shared patient stories and its Asthma Disparities in America report with the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee which then launched an investigation into the high price of asthma inhalers early this year. 

AAFA’s research indicates that when the cost of medicine becomes a barrier to treatment, people with asthma resort to rationing or simply discontinue use. 

Access to asthma medications can save lives, reduce hospitalizations, and lower the more than $82 billion in annual costs to the U.S. economy from this chronic disease. But the U.S. health care system is complex and often leaves patients with few affordable options.  

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About AAFA 
Founded in 1953, AAFA is the oldest and largest non-profit patient organization dedicated to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease for people with asthma, allergies, and related conditions through research, education, advocacy, and support. AAFA offers extensive support for individuals and families affected by asthma and allergic diseases, such as food allergies and atopic dermatitis (eczema). Through its online patient support communities, network of regional chapters, and collaborations with community-based groups, AAFA empowers patients and their families by providing practical, evidence-based information and community programs and services. AAFA is the only asthma and allergy patient advocacy group that is certified to meet the standards of excellence set by the National Health Council. For more information, visit: aafa.org 


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