Partnership Seeks to Lower Costs of COPD Meds

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by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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GoodRx, a platform for healthcare savings in the U.S., and pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim have teamed up to help lower out-of-pocket medication costs  for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or type 2 diabetes.

Patients will be able to enroll in sponsored copay programs to access  Boehringer Ingelheim’s lead medications at lower costs, with the possibility of accessing more medications in the future.

According to GoodRx, the new partnership may result in consumer savings of about $15 million a year.

“We look forward to expanding our collaborative partnership with GoodRx so we can help more people living with chronic conditions find the appropriate savings program that is right for them and lower their out-of-pocket costs,” Chris Marsh, senior vice president, market access at Boehringer Ingelheim, said in a press release.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the annual direct medical costs from COPD reach $49 billion, and the costs from diabetes are $237 billion, according to the release.

Several of these costs are not covered by insurance, and are left to the responsibility of the patients and their families, representing a significant economic burden.

“As insurance deductibles increase, fewer medications are covered by insurance, and more restrictions are placed on the medications that are covered, patients are left carrying more of the economic burden,” said Bansi Nagji, president of healthcare at GoodRx.

“The integration of Boehringer Ingelheim savings programs will help lower the affordability barrier for patients so they can better access the medications they need,” Nagji added.

Patients looking to join the savings programs for COPD or diabetes can do so at the GoodRx website.

COPD patients with commercial insurance can apply for saving programs with their prescriptions of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Spiriva Respimat (tiotropium), Stiolto Respimat (a combination therapy of bronchodilators tiotropium bromide and olodaterol), and Combivent Respimat (a combination of albuterol–ipratropium).

While Spiriva Respimat and Stiolto Respimat are used for long-term  maintenance treatment of COPD,  Combivent Respimat is a short-acting bronchodilator for COPD patients whose symptoms are not controlled by a regular bronchodilator and continue to experience bronchospasm (airway constriction).

“The combination of Boehringer Ingelheim’s commitment to the patients we serve and innovative approach to bringing transformative therapies to market, and GoodRx’s trusted brand and reach, means that we will be able to provide more patients with seamless access to our support and savings programs,” Marsh said.