Insurance Stopped Covering Symbicort. What Are Some Options?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses some alternative options for Symbicort after it stopped being covered by insurance.

Question

My insurance no longer covers Symbicort. What alternatives are recommended?

Asked by Jmnnng1227 On May 05, 2024

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published May 06, 2024
Last updated Jul 22, 2024

Answer

Great question! I appreciate you reaching out, and I am happy to answer this for you.

You have a number of alternative options to Symbicort. Now, the best option for you will likely depend on your insurance formulary (the list of drugs covered by your insurance plan) since you mentioned your issue is that Symbicort is no longer covered.

Generic Symbicort Options

There are two different generic versions that contain the same active ingredients as brand-name Symbicort:

  • Budesonide/formoterol
  • Breyna (a branded generic version)

To give some context on Breyna, it does contain budesonide and formoterol, the active ingredients in Symbicort. It is just a 'branded generic'. 

A branded generic drug refers to a generic medication that is marketed and sold under a brand name by the manufacturer, instead of just using the generic (non-proprietary) name of the drug. So, in this case, 'Breyna' is a branded generic for Symbicort.

It's possible that if your insurance company is no longer covering brand Symbicort, they may cover one of the above generic options.

Other Alternatives

If your insurance does not cover the generic Symbicort options, there are still some alternative drug combinations you could try.

As mentioned above, Symbicort contains two drugs: budesonide (a corticosteroid) and formoterol (a long-acting beta agonist).

Other drugs that contain both a corticosteroid and a long-acting beta agonist include:

  • Dulera
  • Advair Diskus
  • Advair HFA
  • Airduo
  • Breo
  • Wixela

It's likely that your insurance prefers at least a few of these options, so be sure to check with them regarding your coverage.

Final Words

To reiterate, your closest options to brand Symbicort are the generics budesonide/formoterol and Breyna.

Otherwise, review the list of other corticosteroid/long-acting beta agonist combination drugs and check with your doctor and pharmacist about which would be the most appropriate covered alternative for your specific situation.

Thanks again for reaching out!

References

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 13 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical, program development, and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Dr. Brian Staiger also has herbalist training and educational certificates in the field of medical ethnobotany. Feel free to send him an email at [email protected]! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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