Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat asthma in adults and certain children. It’s also approved to manage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults.
For more information about Symbicort’s uses, refer to this article.
Here are some details about Symbicort:
- Drug form: metered-dose inhaler
- Generic versions: budesonide/formoterol*
Read on to learn about Symbicort and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions.
* To learn more about the generic version of Symbicort, see the “Brand-name vs. generic drugs” section below.
As with all medications, the cost of Symbicort can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include:
- your treatment plan
- your insurance coverage
- the pharmacy you use
- whether you’re eligible for Symbicort’s savings program (see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below)
To find out what the cost of Symbicort will be for you, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Note: If you have insurance, your insurance company may require prior authorization before it covers Symbicort. This means the company and your doctor will discuss Symbicort in regard to your treatment. The insurance company will then determine whether the medication is covered. If a drug requires prior authorization but you start treatment without the prior approval, you could pay the full cost of the medication. You can ask your insurance company whether Symbicort requires prior authorization.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about drug cost and Symbicort.
Is there a manufacturer coupon available for the Symbicort inhaler?
No, there’s no manufacturer coupon available for the Symbicort inhaler. However, Symbicort’s manufacturer has a prescription savings program called AZ&Me. To learn more, see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below.
For other cost information, including coupons and Medicare coverage, see the “Next steps” section below.
If you have additional questions, talk with your pharmacist or doctor.
What’s the cost of a Symbicort inhaler with insurance versus without insurance?
Typically, the cost of a Symbicort inhaler with insurance is less than the cost without insurance. However, your cost depends on several factors, including your specific insurance coverage and treatment plan.
Your pharmacist can help determine Symbicort’s cost with and without insurance. You can also reach out to your insurance provider or your doctor.
If you need help paying for Symbicort, see the “Financial and insurance assistance” section below.
The two active ingredients in Symbicort are budesonide and formoterol. A generic version of Symbicort called budesonide/formoterol (Breyna) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A generic drug is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.
However, budesonide/formoterol isn’t yet available at pharmacies. If you’re interested in taking this generic version, talk with your pharmacist. They may be able to tell you when it will be available.
Budesonide itself is available as a generic drug that’s approved to treat asthma. Formoterol is also available as a generic drug that’s approved to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Symbicort, which contains both active ingredients, is approved to treat both asthma and COPD.
If your doctor has prescribed Symbicort and you’re interested in using budesonide/formoterol, budesonide, or formoterol instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for the brand-name or generic version. You’ll also need to check with your insurance provider to see what’s covered.
To find out how the costs of the generic drugs compare with the cost of Symbicort, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
WHY ARE COSTS DIFFERENT FOR BRAND-NAME DRUGS VS. GENERIC DRUGS?
Brand-name drugs can be expensive because of the research needed to test their safety and effectiveness. The manufacturer of a brand-name drug can sell it for up to 20 years. When the brand-name drug’s patent expires, multiple manufacturers can create generic versions. This marketplace competition may lead to lower costs for generics. Also, because generics contain the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, they don’t require the same costly testing.
If you take Symbicort long term, you may be able to lower its cost in the following ways.
Getting a 3-month supply
You may be able to get a 90-day supply of Symbicort. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Using a mail-order pharmacy
Symbicort may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this type of service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to receive your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug via mail order.
If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.
If you need financial support to pay for Symbicort, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available. For example:
- A prescription savings program called AZ&Me is available for Symbicort. For more information and to find out whether you qualify for support, call 800-292-6363 or visit the program website.
- Some websites provide details about drug assistance programs, ways to make the most of your insurance coverage, and links to savings cards and other services. Two such websites are:
To learn more about saving money on prescriptions with or without insurance, check out this article.
Now that you’ve learned about cost and Symbicort, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance about cost issues related to Symbicort. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for Symbicort.
Here are some other resources you may find helpful:
- Medicare drug coverage. To learn about Medicare coverage for drugs, see these articles about Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, drug coupons and Medicare, and the Medicare drug list.
- More details. For details about other aspects of Symbicort, refer to this article.
- Dosage. Learn about Symbicort and dosage by viewing this article.
- Information about asthma and COPD. For more information about asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), see our asthma & allergies hub and COPD hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.