FDA Approves Generic Proair HFA for Asthma

This has been a good week for people with asthma: GlaxoSmithKline also just released their generic inhaler for Ventolin, which is now in pharmacies for as little as $30 per inhaler.

What is Proair HFA?

Proair HFA is a short-acting beta-agonist, also known as a rescue inhaler, and is used to treat and prevent bronchospasm, the tightening of the muscles in the airways. Adults and children 4 years of age and older are instructed to take two puffs every 4 to 6 hours, as needed.

How much does generic Proair cost?

Generic Proair, also known as albuterol, is now available in pharmacies for as little as $35 for one HFA inhaler. That’s nearly 50% cheaper than brand-name Proair, which costs more than $60 for one inhaler.

At the moment, Teva is the only manufacturer of generic Proair, but prices could drop if other manufacturers decide to release their own versions.

Are there any other generic asthma inhalers?

In recent years, as patents have worn off, more inhalers have gone generic. Currently, Xopenex HFA (levalbuterol), Airduo (fluticasone/salmeterol), Pulmicort (budesonide), and most recently, Ventolin (albuterol) have all gone generic.

Cash prices for levalbuterol and fluticasone/salmeterol are under $100 per inhaler (their brand-name counterparts cost around $80 and $300, respectively), and generic Ventolin costs around $30 per inhaler.  Budesonide is more expensive, with cash prices averaging around $176 per inhaler (the brand version costs around $250).

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