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EU pulls plug on COPD inhaler

One of the UK's most used inhalers is to be phased out in order to comply with European environmental regulations.

The Combivent Metered Aerosol Inhaler, which is used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), will be discontinued from the middle of this year.

The UK's 200,000 users - a fifth of all COPD patients - are being advised to see their GP or usual healthcare professional to find out about switching to another treatment.

It follows the Department of Health's implementation of the European Commission's strategy to phase out products containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

Dr Noemi Eiser, honorary medical director of the British Lung Foundation (BLF), said: "COPD is a common disease which affects a significant number of people.

"Those with COPD who are currently using inhalers should check with their doctor or nurse about changing to a CFC-free inhaler.

"Changing is safe and easy, so it is good news for the patient and for the environment.

"It is also an opportunity for people with COPD to check their inhaler technique, to make sure they are using it properly."

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British Lung Foundation