02:35 AM

Cost of asthma inhalers can take breath away

Some inhalers now cost 10 times what they used to

This is high time of year for asthma trouble, and if that doesn't take patients' breath away, the cost of their medicines can.

Mallory Beers uses an inhaler twice a day to help prevent asthma attacks.

"If it wasn't for her having her medication, she'd be really, really sick," said Jeanne Burrus, her mother.

The cost of the inhaler could be enough to make some sick. It's $269 a month. In Mallory's case, it's all covered by insurance. It's a different story for her doctor, Jay Portnoy of Children's Mercy Hospital. He also has asthma and pays more than $80 out-of-pocket for the same inhaler.

"So that's the co-pay. It's very expensive and I'm a physician. You'd think I'd be able to get inexpensive inhalers," said the allergist.

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