FDA Approves First Advair HFA Generic for Asthma and COPD

After years of patent disputes over the blockbuster inhaler, Advair, a new generic, manufactured by Mylan, will be available in pharmacies in the coming weeks.

What is Advair?

Advair (fluticasone/salmeterol) is one of the most commonly prescribed inhalers for asthma and COPD. On GoodRx, Advair is currently the most popular medication in a class of drugs known as beta-agonist/corticosteroid combination drugs. This class also includes Breo Ellipta (fluticasone/vilanterol) and AirDuo (the other fluticasone/salmeterol inhaler, which has also gone generic).

Generic fluticasone/salmeterol will be available in the following three strengths: 100 mcg/50 mcg, 250 mcg/50 mcg, and 500 mcg/50 mcg.

How much will generic Advair cost?

Mylan has yet to release the price of their new generic, but typically, generics can be up to 85% cheaper than their brand-name counterparts. At present, Mylan is the only manufacturer of generic Advair, but if the FDA approves versions from other manufacturers, prices should drop.

Are there any other generic asthma inhalers?

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