Website on CFC-free asthma inhalers launched to keep patients informed
This year, as a result of an international environmental agreement, an estimated seven million annual prescriptions of certain CFC-containing asthma inhalers will be affected by a change to CFC-free alternatives.
In order to keep patients informed and to streamline the transition to CFC-free inhalers, a new information website - www.ourasthma.com - has been launched this week by Trinity-Chiesi Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
In 1987 most countries, including the UK, signed the Montreal Protocol and agreed to ban CFC production. However, asthma inhalers were excluded from the agreement because no equally effective alternatives were available. Today, CFC-free asthma inhaler technology is now in place and therefore, in accordance with the Montreal Protocol, the old CFC-containing inhalers will eventually be replaced by their CFC-free equivalent. The new devices will contain the same medication, only the propellant that creates the fine spray will be different.
An estimated 5.2 million people are currently being treated for asthma in the UK. Currently there are a multitude of different inhalers in use – many with different mechanisms, different colours and sometimes even different uses. However, as certain CFC-containing inhalers will be removed from UK supply and replaced with alternatives, many patients will want to know if they are going to be affected and what differences, if any, they can expect.
As many asthma inhalers are already CFC-free while other similar-looking devices are not, www.ourasthma.com has been set up in an effort to reduce confusion and aid the smooth transition from one inhaler to another. The website aims to help identify which inhalers are changing, to answer the questions patients may have about replacing their existing device and what differences they may expect from their new prescription. www.ourasthma.com also has current news relating to asthma and a registration page where visitors can request further updates by post, email and text.