Prescription Assistance Programs for Asthma Medications

Free or Low-Cost Treatment for Those Who Qualify

To increase access to asthma medications, many pharmaceutical manufacturers have set up programs to help defray out-of-pocket costs. Prescription assistance programs (PAPs) are designed to provide inhalers and other asthma drugs free of charge or at a highly discounted price to lower-income individuals and families. Copay assistance programs (CAPs) cover a portion of drug copay costs for people with health insurance.

There are also non-profit copay programs for those who do not qualify for manufacturer-sponsored programs.

Program Eligibility

Eligibility for low-cost or free asthma medication is generally based on household income in relation to the annual Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Depending on the manufacturer or program, people can qualify if they make less than 400% to 500% of the FPL. The FPL set by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2020 is as follows:

  • Individual: $12,760
  • Couple: $17,240
  • Family of three: $21,720
  • Family of four: $26,200
  • Family of five: $30,680
  • Family of six: $35,160
  • Family of seven: $39,640
  • Family of eight: $44,120

Proof of income in the form of your most recent tax return is generally required for PAP applications. By contrast, many CAPs only ask that you provide the amount you earned in the previous year.

Most PAPs also require that you have no other prescription drug coverage (although exceptions are often made for people with Medicare Part D who are unable to afford their drugs). Other restrictions may apply depending on the asthma drug assistance program.

In addition to income requirements, applicants are generally required to be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.

Application and Approval

Your doctor's office can likely make you aware of PAP and CAP programs for the asthma drugs they regularly prescribe, such as those outlined below.

Some non-profit organizations also offer online tools to help patients find applications or determine if a drug is covered by a PAP or CAP. These include:

If you need financial assistance for obtaining asthma drugs made by different manufacturers, you will need to fill out separate applications for each.

The approval or denial of a PAP application is usually communicated within several days of the required documents being received. Many CAP applications are approved on the same day, and administrators will issue you a temporary card by email.

AstraZeneca

The pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca offers both PAP and CAP services to eligible individuals. The asthma drugs covered by programs are:

AstraZeneca's PAP service, called AZ&Me Prescription Savings Program, is available to legal residents of the United States.

To qualify:

  • Your household income must be less than 400% of the FPL.
  • You must not be receiving prescription drug coverage under a private insurance or government program (excluding Medicare) or receiving any other assistance to help pay for your medicines.
  • If you have Medicare, you can qualify if you spent at least 3% of your annual household income on prescription medicines.

AstraZeneca's AZHealth Program covers copay costs for Symbicort and Pulmicort for those with private insurance, regardless of income.

The Fasenra Savings Program covers up to $13,000 of copay costs for Fasenra per calendar year. People enrolled in a state or federally funded prescription insurance program, including Medicare, are not eligible.

Genentech

Genentech, manufacturers of Xolair (omalizumab), offers PAP and CAP services to cover some or all of the cost of the drug.

Genentech Patient Foundation is a PAP open to legal residents of the United States who either do not have health insurance or are unable to afford Xolair with health insurance (including Medicare).

To qualify:

  • Your household income must be less than $150,000 per year. For households larger than four people, add $25,000 for each extra person.
  • You must have first tried other types of patient assistance programs, such as HealthWell or Patient Advocate Program, if you have insurance.

The Xolair Copay Program has no income restrictions and reduces your out-of-pocket costs to $5 per prescription with an annual cap of $10,000 per year. The program also covers injection services for up $1,000 per year.

GlaxoSmithKline

The multinational pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) offers PAP services for the following asthma medications:

The GSK Patient Assistance Program is available to legal residents of the United States or Puerto Rico who have no prescription drug benefits through any insurer or payer program. Exception: You may apply if you are a Medicare Part D recipient.

The program covers 100% of the cost of a drug for eligible individuals.

To qualify, you must make less than the maximum gross monthly income listed on their website, which varies by location and household size. The amount is roughly based on incomes of less than 250% of the FPL.

If you are a Medicare Part D recipient, you must have spent at least $600 on any of the above-listed GSK drugs during the current calendar year.

GlaxoSmithKline also offers a Dollars-Off Program for commercially insured people. Although the program provides significant savings on select drugs, including Breo Ellipta, the list tends to be small and can change at any time.

Merck

The American pharmaceutical giant Merck offers both PAP services for the following asthma medications:

Merck Helps is the company's PAP service that provides the medicines free of charge to eligible individuals, primarily those without health insurance. The program is open to legal residents of the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories.

To qualify:

  • You must not have health insurance or other coverage for your prescription medicine, including Medicare.
  • You have a household income of less than 400% of the FPL.
  • If you have health insurance but still can't afford the medications, you must demonstrate financial hardship.

Sanofi

Sanofi, a major French pharmaceutical company, offers both PAP and CAP services for the drug Dupixent (omalizumab) used in the treatment of moderate to severe asthma.

The Dupixent MyWay Program is Sanofi's PAP service available to legal residents of the United States. It offers the drug free of charge to uninsured or functionally uninsured people.

To qualify:

  • Your household income must be less than 400% of FPL.
  • If you have health insurance but still can't afford the medications, you must demonstrate financial hardship.

Dupixent MyWay Copay Program is available to residents of the United States or Puerto Rico who have commercial insurance, covering up to $13,000 of copay costs per year. There are no income restrictions, but Medicare or Medicaid recipients are not eligible.

TEVA Pharmaceuticals

TEVA is one of the largest generic pharmaceutical companies in the world and has established PAP services for users of the following asthma drugs:

TEVA Cares Foundation offers these drugs at no cost to people who meet insurance and income criteria. The program is open to legal residents of the United States.

To qualify:

  • You must have no prescription drug coverage of any sort.
  • Your household income is less than 400% of the FPL.

A Word From Verywell

If you are ineligible for a manufacturer PAP or CAP (or there are no manufacturer assistance programs covering your drugs), you may be able to access discounts through pharmacy drug savings programs like Blink Health, Good RX, Kroger Savings Club, Publix, Walgreens Prescriptions Savings Club, Walmart $4 Prescription Program, and others. Some require annual membership fees (and usually offer steeper savings than those that don't).

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. US Department of Health and Human Services. HHS poverty guidelines for 2020. Updated January 15, 2020.

  2. Medicare Interactive. The parts of Medicare (A, B, C, D).

  3. AZ&Me. Requirements. Updated February 2020.