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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Any financial assistance?
Are there any financial assistance programs available for the elderly that can not afford Pulmacort copays and they have been on this for several years and insurance has changed their copays or their willingness to pay for this drug.
Pulmicort is a steroid inhaler used for asthma and is not generally used for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis. If the individual you are referring to has pulmonary fibrosis, then he/she should check with his/her physician to be sure that it is appropriate for his/her condition.
If the Pulmicort has been prescribed for another indication (such as asthma or COPD), then there are options for coverage. If the individual is over 65 years, he/she should be eligible for Medicare part D (prescription drug coverage). All insurance providers for Medicare part D provide at least one steroid inhaler on their formulary, and it is likely that the individual's physician can substitute inhalers for one that would be covered by their insurance plan. When selecting a Medicare part D plan, there are computer programs that you can use to enter your current medications and determine which plan is best for you to cover your medications. Your local pharmacist can also be of assistance. If the individual is unable to afford the co-pay for the prescriptions, then he/she may be eligible for the Medicaid coverage option which generally provides medications at low or no cost to poor patients.
James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University