"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Switching to the generic version of the asthma inhaler may very well be problematic

December 28, 2023 – The asthma inhaler Flovent will not be available in pharmacies from Monday and the manufacturer says an “authorized generic” version will take its place.

Some doctors worry their patients could have difficulty replacing the device and finding insurance coverage. CNN Reports.

The manufacturer of the generic version is GSK. Doctors say this version is just as effective but will not be as widely covered by insurance firms. Some people need latest prescriptions and face medical insurance issues at the peak of respiratory virus season.

“This medication has been the most commonly used inhalation medication for the last 25 or 30 years,” said Dr. Robyn Cohen of Boston Medical Center told CNN. “The vast majority of pediatricians resort to this when they decide that their patient needs daily preventative medication. … The fact that it is being discontinued will be a major shock to the system for patients, families and physicians.”

GSK is making the change “as part of our commitment to be ambitious for patients,” a spokeswoman said. The generic versions of Flovent HFA, an inhalation aerosol, and Flovent Diskus, an inhalation powder, “will potentially provide U.S. patients with lower-cost alternatives to these medically important products.”

But CNN reports that experts say GSK is making the move on Jan. 1, when a change in Medicaid discounts could end in steep penalties because of Flovent's price increases through the years.

Accordingly, the value has risen by around 47% in nine years Data from GoodRx.