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AANMA Announces Launch of Free Web-Based Education Program for Patients Transitioning From CFC to HFA Inhalers
Date:12/3/2008

FAIRFAX, Va., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) announced today that a new Web-based video geared to help people successfully manage the transition from CFC albuterol inhalers to HFA inhalers is now available at its Web site, www.breatherville.org. Smart Moves to an HFA Inhaler uses technology that allows viewers to ask questions in everyday language and immediately receive a response with relevant, highly focused answers. Users can obtain valuable information about why inhalers are changing, the differences between newer and older inhalers, cost concerns and how to use new HFA inhalers.

"We created this video to help patients and their families learn more about this federal mandate, as a significant number of patients are still not aware of how to safely go about making this change," said Nancy Sander, president and founder of AANMA. "At the end of the year, inhalers are changing. These changes are mandatory, and there are important decisions to make about treatment options that require thoughtful consideration of the patient's medical history and current respiratory health status."

In less than 30 days, life-saving albuterol inhalers used by nearly 40 million patients with respiratory disorders will no longer be sold. After December 31, 2008, it will no longer be permissible to manufacture or sell albuterol inhalers in the United States that contain chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellants, because they destroy the Earth's ozone layer. These inhalers have been replaced with four distinct non-CFC propelled alternatives, which contain hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) propellant.

While the transition has been forthcoming for some time, data from IMS Health show that an estimated 14 million CFC prescriptions have yet to be transitioned to HFA MDIs.(1) The absence of a medically responsible transition protocol leaves patients unknowingly exposed to health risks beyond their control.

Patients with asthma, COPD and other respiratory conditions use albuterol at the first sign of symptoms, before exercise and when experiencing breathing exacerbations. Because there are significant differences between CFC and HFA inhalers, patients and medical professionals need to have the opportunity to make the switch in a medically responsible way.

The Web module is hosted by former CNN Medical correspondent Rea Blakey, and supported by an educational grant from Sepracor.

For more information about the MDI transition, please visit AANMA's MDI Transition Web page at www.mditransition.org. Patients seeking information can also call AANMA's Patient Support Center at 800-315-8056.

About AANMA

Founded in 1985, Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics is the leading national nonprofit family organization dedicated to eliminating suffering and death due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. AANMA's core areas of expertise are education, advocacy and outreach. Call 800.878.4403 or visit www.breatherville.org.

(1) IMS NPA, August 22, 2008


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SOURCE Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics
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