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NEWS: Sanders Applauds AstraZeneca for Capping Inhaler Costs at $35 Per Month

WASHINGTON, March 18 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, on Monday issued the following statement after AstraZeneca announced that it would cap out-of-pocket costs at $35 per month for its asthma and COPD inhalers, starting on June 1, 2024.

The announcement comes on the heels of the January 8 HELP Committee investigation, led by Chairman Sanders and HELP Committee members Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), as to why Americans pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for inhalers.

Earlier this month, Boehringer Ingelheim announced that it would cap patient out-of-pocket costs for all of its inhalers at $35 starting on June 1, 2024. The company also announced that it would lower the list price of some of its inhalers.

Sanders said:

In January, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions that I chair launched an investigation into the outrageously high cost of inhalers that 25 million Americans with asthma and 16 million Americans with COPD rely on to breathe. In my view, Americans who have asthma and COPD should not be forced to pay, in many cases, 10 to 70 times more for the same exact inhalers as patients in Europe and other parts of the world.

Since we launched that investigation, I have had conversations with all of the CEOs of the major manufacturers of these products.

Today, I am very pleased that AstraZeneca has announced that patients in America with commercial insurance and the uninsured or under-insured will pay no more than $35 for the inhalers that they manufacture beginning on June 1st of this year.

This is a very positive step which will help save Americans thousands of dollars a year on the inhalers they need to breathe.

Today, I am calling on the two other major manufacturers of inhalers – GlaxoSmithKline and Teva – to take similar action. If AstraZeneca and Boehringer Ingelheim can cap the cost of inhalers at $35 in the United States, these other companies can do the same.

The Senate HELP Committee will continue to do everything we can do to make sure that Americans no longer pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.