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Help Your Patients Make a Smooth Transition to HFA Albuterol Inhalers
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mandated the removal of the exemption granted to chlorofluorocarbon-based (CFC) metered-dose albuterol
inhalers, and the transition to environmentally-friendly hydrofluoroalkane-based
(HFA) albuterol inhalers by December 31, 2008.
During this important transition, the supply of CFC-based asthma inhalers will gradually decline, while supplies of HFA-based inhalers are expected to increase. It’s important to talk to your patients now about transitioning to HFA inhaler
alternatives early so they can successfully make the switch.
Your asthma patients’ next appointment is an opportunity to discuss the switch to a safe and effective HFA quick-relief albuterol inhaler. The following is a guide for talking with patients about the transitionand financial assistance programs for those patients that qualify. This discussion is also an opportunity to remind your patients about overall asthma management topics, including the proper role of quick-reliefinhalers in asthma treatment.
Talk With Your Asthma Patients
CFC to HFA Transition: Why Your Patients Should Transition Now
There are a number of reasons why now is a good time to make this transition:
• CFC-based inhalers are harmful to the environment.
• CFC quick-relief albuterol inhalers will not be available after December 31, 2008.
• HFA quick-relief albuterol inhalers are currently available and are the same medicine
During this transition, manufacturers will gradually reduce their supply of CFC-based quick-relief asthma inhalers and increase supplies of HFA-based quick-relief inhalers.
HFA quick-relief albuterol inhaler manufacturers
have assistance programs for patients with financial need to successfully make the transition.
Quick-relief albuterol inhalers work by relaxing the muscles in the airways,
Making the transition to an HFA-based quick-relief
but are not intended to treat asthma inflammation.
albuterol inhaler is a good opportunity to review your overall asthma management plan.
If patients are using their quick-relief albuterolinhaler more than twice a week, it may be a goodtime to discuss asthma management, including
About HFA Albuterol Inhalers
the potential need for a long-term maintenance
HFA quick-relief albuterol inhalers are FDA-
medication such as an inhaled corticosteroid.
approved and are safe and effective alternatives to
Each visit with your patients is an opportunity
to review strategies to avoid asthma triggers.
HFA quick-relief inhalers differ from CFC inhalers,
It is critical that patients inform doctors immediately
specifically in taste and spray force. For example,
if they experience any problems with their HFA
the sensation of the HFA spray will be less forceful
than what patients might be accustomed to with theCFC inhalers. Additionally, HFA inhalers must becleaned in a specific way. Cleaning information can
HFA Inhaler Cost and Assistance
If your patients currently have prescription drug
Environmental Impact of CFCs
coverage through their employer or throughMedicare or Medicaid, they will need to confirm
CFCs are man-made hydrocarbons used for decades
the copay that applies to the HFA quick-relief
in products such as refrigerants, foams, solvents,
fire extinguishers, and aerosol propellants.
Patients in need of financial assistance should
Since 1978, CFCs have been removed from almost
contact the The Partnership for Prescription
every product because of the harmful effects CFCs
have on the environment by destroying the Earth’s
The transition from CFC to HFA quick-relief
albuterol inhalers is a necessary step to protect the
Patients and physicians needing further information
environment. HFA quick-relief albuterol inhalers
on making the transition to HFA quick-relief
are as effective and safe as CFC quick-relief inhalers,
albuterol inhalers should contact the Asthma and
Allergy Foundation of America at 1-800-7-ASTHMAor visit www.transitionnow.org for more informationand links to other resources.
Funding for this program was provided by an unrestricted educationalgrant from Schering Corporation.
Alex Kentsis, MD, PhD Assistant Member, Molecular Pharmacology & Chemistry Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute Attending Physician, Department of Pediatrics, Memorial Hospital Assistant Professor, Weill Medical College of Cornell University Opportunity Type: Research Technician Location: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY Job Description: We seek a highly mo
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