Flovent HFA and Flovent Diskus are no longer available as of Jan. 1, 2024. GSK announced last year they are discontinuing the asthma medications. Both are inhaled corticosteroids. They contain fluticasone propionate.
This may have a significant impact on people with asthma who rely on Flovent. Patients will have to use alternative medications or generic versions. The cost of these medications may differ from what they paid for Flovent.
What can you do?
- Reach out to your healthcare provider. Ask about all treatment options, including authorized generics.
- Check your health insurance coverage before getting a new inhaler prescription. Find out what brand and generic asthma medications are covered.
GSK has authorized generics for both Flovent HFA and Flovent Diskus. (The HFA is a metered-dose inhaler, the Diskus is a dry powder inhaler). They are distributed by Prasco Laboratories. Another Flovent HFA generic is available from RPK Pharmaceuticals. Each of these are available by prescription.
Similar Flovent treatment options include ArmonAir Digihaler and Arnuity Ellipta. Both are available by prescription.
- ArmonAir Digihaler contains fluticasone propionate but at different doses than Flovent.
- Arnuity Ellipta contains fluticasone furoate. This is a different medication and not a substitute for Flovent, but it is similar in treatment.
In general, generic medications are cheaper than brands. Some health insurers may choose to not cover the generic, making it more expensive. They may prefer that you obtain a brand name alternative to keep their costs down.
If you do use a brand name alternative, check with your doctor that the dosage can treat your symptoms. It’s also important to know how to use the new inhaler. Review the package instructions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to demonstrate how to use the inhaler.
Bottom line: Flovent HFA and Flovent Diskus are both discontinued, but generic versions are available. The cost of a Flovent generic could depend on your health insurance coverage. If your health insurance does not cover the generic, talk with your healthcare provider about alternatives.
Q: How do you foresee this decision impacting patients?
Dr. Parikh: I think it will disrupt treatment for some patients. They may have to scramble to find an alternative covered by their insurance.
Q: Will the generics have the same effectiveness?
Dr. Parikh: The generics have the same dosing, quality, and effectiveness as Flovent. There are also branded alternatives like Arnuity and ArmonAir. QVAR Redihaler, a different type of corticosteroid, is another potential alternative. Discuss these with your doctor.
Q: What is most important for patients to know?
Dr. Parikh: If you are on Flovent, talk to your doctor now about switching. The generics aren’t as widely covered, or they may require prior authorization. Some patients may have to change to a different brand altogether.
Learn more about Asthma Medications and Treatment.