Why is Combivent Respimat So Expensive? Here's How to Save
high drug prices
Why are asthma inhalers so expensive?
They’re a life-changing, life-saving medication that millions of Americans need to literally breathe; yet, for some reason, they’re priced far out of the average family’s budget.
This applies to many types of asthma medication, from Advair to Flovent to newer medications, like Combivent Respimat. Combivent Respimat, as its name might suggest, combines two medications in a slow-moving mist, making it doubly effective for people who struggle with asthma.
That efficacy comes at a cost. Today, let’s talk about why Combivent Respimat is so expensive—and what you can do to save on this life-saving treatment option.
Understanding Combivent Respimat: What Does It Do?
Combivent Respimat (albuterol, ipratropium) is a combination inhaler. It dispenses two types of bronchodilators that work together, synergistically, to relax muscles in a patient’s airways. This can alleviate asthma symptoms and ease breathing difficulties.
Combivent Respimat has gained particular traction as a drug that can treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. COPD is a condition that comes with persistent airflow obstruction. However, Combivent Respimat is not limited to treating COPD; it can also help people with asthma find relief from shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing, and wheezing.
That is, if they can afford it.
The High Cost of Asthma Inhalers
In America, a single inhaler can easily cost more than $500.00–-and last about 30 days. This means that a person who requires daily inhaler use may have to pay $6,000.00 or far more just to breathe comfortably and safely.
And, as we’ll see in a moment, that’s far from the most expensive an inhaler can be.
This is a big problem, especially for patients with asthma who have limited resources. Why are these inhalers priced so high?
There are several factors contributing to high inhaler prices, including:
Asthma inhaler R&D expenses. When companies decide to make a new type of inhaler, they spend a lot of money on the initial research and development necessary to start that process.
To recoup their investment, drug companies will pass those costs down to consumers through high inhaler prices.
Patent protection. After a company releases a new drug, it has the exclusive right to sell that drug for a certain period of time. This process is referred to as “holding a patent.” As long as a manufacturer’s patent is in place, they likely won’t have much competition for their drug, allowing them to set prices as high as they please.
Marketing and distribution. Even long after a pharmaceutical company has released a drug, it still pays a lot of money to spread the word about its products and get them to pharmacies nationwide. Generally, companies will pass these costs to consumers, too. These costs can make up the lion’s share of a drug’s price.
All of this leaves out a vital piece of the puzzle:
Why are inhalers far more expensive in the United States than anywhere else?
There are a few further reasons why American drug prices tend to be higher than any others you’ll find:
In the United States, the government doesn’t have the authority -- and some would say the will -- to control drug prices.
In the United States, pharmaceutical companies maintain powerful lobbies—or people and teams whose job it is to influence government regulations and policies, usually to their advantage. This makes it more likely that the government will continue to have little ability to regulate drug prices or introduce affordable inhaler alternatives.
In the United States, the pharmaceutical industry focuses a lot of time and resources on direct-to-consumer, or DTC, advertising. (The ads and commercials you see for medication whenever you watch TV or browse the internet are proof of that.)
DTC advertising can drive up costs for highly advertised drugs, which can, in turn, drive up prices.
Why is Combivent Respimat So Expensive?
In the United States, one Combivent Respimat inhaler usually retails for around $533.00 per inhaler. As we discussed earlier, that results in costs well over $6,000.00 per year.
While all drugs are expensive in America, Combivent Respimat may be expensive in particular for a few specific reasons: Making it requires a lot of highly-specialized equipment, it’s seen a lot of demand as an effective asthma and COPD drug, and there isn’t currently a generic version of this drug.
Looking for ways to save big on Combivent Respimat?
Here’s our best tip: Buy online—and from an international and Canadian online pharmacies.
Through NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy a Combivent Respimat inhaler for about $250.00 for one inhaler (a savings of around 53%).
Analyzing the Market: Alternatives, Insurance and How to Save
While 53% savings is fantastic, that isn’t your only option for saving big on Combivent Respimat.
For example, if your doctor believes it’s a good idea, you may be able to opt for an alternative to Combivent Respimat and save even more.
Combivent Respimat Alternatives
Some of the most popular Combivent Respimat alternatives on the market today include:
Anoro Ellipta (umeclidinium and vilanterol) is a drug that is usually prescribed to treat COPD. Its two active ingredients, umeclidinium and vilanterol, work together to help a patient’s lungs work as effectively as possible.
If your doctor prescribes Anoro Ellipta, just be aware that you may experience side effects from sore throat to sinusitis and lower respiratory infections.
One of Anoro Ellipta’s primary distinguishing points is its once-daily dosing. If you’re interested in avoiding a medication that requires dosing several times throughout the day, it may be worth considering Anoro Ellipta.
How Much Does Anoro Ellipta Cost?
In the United States, a 30-day supply of Anoro Ellipta can cost as much as $520.00. (That’s around $17.00 per day of treatment.)
Looking for ways to save? If you buy your brand Anoro Ellipta through an online and international Canadian pharmacy such as NorthWestPharmacy.com, you could save up to 55%. Here, you can buy a 30-day supply of Anoro Ellipta for around $230.00.
Atrovent Inhaler (ipratropium bromide), uses one of the active ingredients found in Combivent Respimat. Doctors prescribe the Atrovent Inhaler to assist as a maintenance treatment for bronchospasm associated with COPD, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.
Sometimes, patients experience coughs, dry mouth, and headaches when on Atrovent. However, since the Atrovent Inhaler works extremely locally, patients should experience fewer systemic side effects overall.
How Much Does Atrovent Inhaler Cost?
In the United States, a 30-day supply of the Atrovent Inhaler costs about $515.00. (The amount of medication you’ll need per month depends on what your doctor tells you, as well as the specifics of your condition and your unique goals, so your monthly cost may differ a little.)
Through NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy the brand-name Atrovent Inhaler for just about $35.00—a staggering savings of up to 93%.
Stiolto Respimat (tiotropium and olodaterol) offers a dual-action approach, much like the Combivent Respimat. Like the Combivent Respimat, the Stiolto Respimat also comes with a unique inhalation device that releases active ingredients in a slow-moving mist, making it much easier for patients to inhale the medication.
This two-ingredient and unique inhalation system can make the Stiolto Respimat a pricey option, unfortunately.
How Much Does Stiolto Respimat Cost?
In America, patients may pay as much as $530.00 for a single Stiolto Respimat.
That may be too much for your healthcare budget—in which case, online and international Canadian drug stores may be able to lend a hand.
Through NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy one Stiolto Respimat inhaler for around $160.00–a savings of up to 69%.
Are There Generic Combivent Respimat Alternatives?
There aren’t any generic alternatives available for the Combivent Respimat. It’s still under patent, meaning it will be a while before a generic medication equivalent to the Combivent Respimat is ready for purchase.
If you’re looking for more affordable alternatives to the Combivent Respimat, you can check out the inhalers mentioned above or discuss your options with your primary care physician. Or, of course, you can always buy your Combivent Respimat through NorthWestPharmacy.com for up to 53% off the typical American retail price.
The Role of Insurance and Healthcare Policies
Will your insurance cover Combivent Respimat?
Quick answer—it depends.
Slightly longer answer: Yes, your insurance plan may cover Combivent Respimat, if your doctor prescribes it and if it’s on your insurance’s formulary, or coverage list. However, you should know that even if your insurance covers Combivent Respimat now, that doesn’t mean that it’ll be covered forever.
(And even if it is covered, that doesn’t mean it’ll be covered enough to make the Combivent Respimat affordable for you long-term.)
Typical Insurance Coverage for Combivent Respimat: Considerations
Most insurance plans do cover Combivent Respimat, but the extent to which they cover the medication can vary wildly.
For example, some insurance plans may classify Combivent Respimat as a “preferred drug,” which can put it in a category of options with reduced copayments.
Other plans may decide that Combivent Respimat is a higher-tier drug, only covering it with extremely high out-of-pocket costs—or only if a patient has demonstrated that they cannot use other, lower-tier drugs.
This can result in unaffordable medication prices or an untenable number of hoops patients need to jump through before they can qualify for coverage for their needed medication.
Tips for Navigating Your Insurance Plan When Buying Combivent Respimat
Wondering how to make the most of your insurance coverage when purchasing this essential med? Here’s a quick guide.
- Know your plan. It’ll be a lot of paperwork and dense reading but understanding the details of your insurance plan can pay off. Focus on understanding the coverage specifics for respiratory medications.
- Explore your options. Whether your insurance plan explicitly covers Combivent Respimat or not, it’s always a good idea to know about alternate ways to purchase your required meds. (This can help you establish treatment continuity if your insurance plan suddenly decides to cease coverage of Combivent Respimat or lose your insurance because of a shift in employment.)
- Shop around! Check prices for Combivent Respimat at different pharmacies around town; each may have different prices for the medication. Our pro tip? Shopping online for your medication can make price-checking a lot easier and allow you to take advantage of low international prices for popular asthma and COPD meds.
Wondering Why Combivent Respimat Is So Expensive? We’ve Got Solutions
If you or a loved one suffers from asthma, COPD, or another respiratory condition, you know how necessary having your inhaler on hand truly is a life-or-death matter. Being able to find and afford your COPD medication is a requirement.
When that required medication costs over $500.00 for a monthly supply, that forces American patients to make tough decisions.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we don’t think that life-saving medications should be inaccessible to the average American. That’s why we’ve paved the way for patients to buy their COPD medication here, through a reputable and safe online Canadian pharmacy website—and we’ve made sure that our prices are generally far more affordable than those you’ll find in a typical brick-and-mortar pharmacy in the United States.
We realize that, especially if this is your first time buying medication online, buying COPD medication like Combivent Respimat can be a little nerve-wracking. We’re pleased to reassure you that our medications are 100% authentic and safe, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Our online pharmacy is certified through CIPA, the Canadian International Pharmacy Association.
Purchasing from a CIPA-approved online Canadian pharmacy offers several benefits, including:
- Cost savings. Online international pharmacies can often provide medications at prices far lower than those at U.S. retail pharmacies.
- Quality assurance. Online pharmacy websites with CIPA approval adhere to stringent quality and safety standards.
- Convenience! Why drive if you don’t have to? By ordering online, through an international pharmacy website, you can order your medications from the comfort of your living room.
Ready to see what we offer you—or place an order? Feel free to check out online or ask our friendly customer service team any questions you may have by calling 1-866-539-5330. We look forward to supporting you as you pursue your required treatment. Remember, managing your health shouldn't come at an unmanageable cost.