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Third Inhaler Company Caps Prices at $35 a Month After Baldwin’s Investigation into High Costs

GSK becomes third major inhaler manufacturer to cap prices after increased scrutiny from Baldwin; Baldwin: “Make no mistake, our campaign against big drug companies to lower costs is working”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) applauds GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) announcement that Americans throughout the country with asthma and COPD will pay no more than $35 for the brand name inhalers they manufacture. With this announcement, GSK joins AstraZeneca and Boehringer Ingelheim as the third major inhaler manufacturer to cap the out-of-pocket costs for their inhaler products at $35 per month in the United States. GSK, AstraZeneca, and Boehringer Ingelheim are three of the four drug companies that Senator Baldwin launched an investigation into, questioning the exorbitantly high costs Americans pay for inhalers compared to other countries.

“Make no mistake, our campaign against big drug companies to lower costs is working. For far too long, big pharmaceutical manufacturers have gotten away with jacking up the costs for those who rely on inhalers to breathe,” said Senator Baldwin. “I launched an investigation into these big drug companies to hold their feet to the fire on their price gouging and since then, three out of the four have come clean and are lowering prices for middle-class families. I will continue to hold big pharma companies accountable and bring down the cost for Wisconsin families.” 

GSK announced they would cap of out-of-pocket costs at $35 per month for all of its asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) medicines, the most prescribed portfolio of inhalers in the U.S.

The announcement comes after Senator Baldwin has been hosting roundtable discussions with providers, patients, and advocates on the impact of high inhaler costs. This week, Baldwin was in Milwaukee, which is ranked fourth among the nation’s top “asthma capitals” and pediatric uncontrolled asthma is a leading cause of emergency room visits, and heard from patients and providers how the high cost of inhalers can lead to patients rationing their supply. Senator Baldwin also was in Dane County and heard stories about the barriers patients and families face to accessing inhalers.

Earlier this year, Senator Baldwin also called on the four biggest inhaler companies to stop unfairly locking out generics from the market and driving up the cost of inhalers for Americans. Specifically, in letters to AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GSK, and Teva, Senator Baldwin called on the companies to stop improperly listing patents for inhalers in the Orange Book and stifling competition.