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Respiratory Leaders Urge Medical Community to Educate Patients Transitioning CFC to HFA Inhalers
Date:11/10/2008

At Year's End, Inhalers Used by 40 Million Patients Will No Longer Be Sold

SEATTLE, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In less than 3 months, 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 U.S. 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.

At a national press briefing held during the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), representatives from the organization and Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) urged the medical community to educate their patients with respiratory disorders about the upcoming CFC-to-HFA transition.

"This is the first time that an effective medication has been removed from the market in the USA for an environmental issue," said Ira Finegold, MD, chief of the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in the Department of Medicine at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, and past president of the ACAAI. "However, the newer products available are not identical and each has specific differences. Physicians should monitor patients making the transition to HFA albuterol to be sure they understand the differences in the use and care of the newer products."

While the transition has been forthcoming for some time, data from IMS Health show that 14 million patients are still utilizing the older inhalers.(1) A medically responsible transition protocol assures patients are not unknowingly exposed to health risks beyond their control.

"A significant number of patients are still not aware of the federal mandate, or how to safely go about making this change," said Nancy Sander, presi
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SOURCE Allergy and Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics
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