In a typical month I use somewhere around 550 puffs of albuterol via the inhaler. That equals about 18 puffs a day. (Not a huge amount for a hardcore asthmatic .) Anyway, each inhaler holds appx 180 puffs which means I need appx 3 inhalers per month. Well, today I went to the pharmacy to pick up my albuterol refills. Instead of getting the usual three inhalers (per month), the pharmacy clerk handed me only two. When I questioned why they were only dispensing two inhalers, she said, its not us ……Its the insurance company.

She said that the insurance company would only allow them to dispense two albuterol inhalers per month regardless of what the prescription says. WHAT the F**K??? So , now the insurance companies are deciding how much medication I deserve? Cmon, we’re not talking about an expensive drug. In fact, albuterol is cheap, much less than the $10.00 co-pay .

As it turns out, I have to get ” pre-authorization” from the insurance company to get three inhalers a month. Basically , my doctor has to beg them to give me more medicine.

I have an idea, if I run out of albuterol before the end of the month, I’ll just go to the Emergency Room and get it there. That will save the insurance company tons of money;-)

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3 thoughts on “Just what the Doctor didn’t order

  1. Brooklyn says:

    I’m a little confused. Albuterol IS cheap, you said it yourself. So why depend on the insurance guys to OK you for what you already use? Just buy it. Insurance can turn down PAYING for something, in which case the pharmacy doesn’t want to dispense because they think you can’t pay either. But the only permission you need to actually GET albuterol is that prescription slip. If your wallet can handle it, just buy the albuterol. Are you doing this and just didn’t note it?

    Also, just how much albuterol can a really bad asthmatic go through? I was under the impression more than 2 puffs 4x day was bad.

  2. Steve says:

    I meant Albuterol is cheap on the wholesale market. Pharmacy chains probably pay around $2.00 per inhaler Retail its $24.00 where I get mine and Yes, Im strapped for cash.

    8 puffs a day is about right for a moderate severe asthmatic. Sad but true , I use twice that much when Im not using the nebulizer. Its not uncommon for some severe asthmatics to go through one inhaler PER WEEK.

  3. Theresa Bill RPH says:

    Any doctor who allows their patient to use more than 1 albuterol inhaler a month is do them a grave disservice. If you need to use a rescue inhaler (albuterol is consider a rescue inhaler) more than ocassionally your asthma is not being controlled and you many be allowing permament damage to your lungs to occur. Not only that but over use of Albuterol can cause serious side effects. You need to ask for a longer acting bronchial dialator and/or an inhaled steroid. Price is not the issue. I’m sure your insurance will pay for the more expnsive Adviar where it won’t pay for 3 cheap Albuerol inhalers because it’s not good medicine. You will be healthier in the long run if you treat your severe asthma more effectively!

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