Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Switch Is On !

Hope everyone is doing fine on this second Saturday in August, can you believe it just a few months away for the Holidays to roll around again .

I picked up my prescriptions yesterday and on the bag was the following: If you have Asthma or COPD....THE SWITCH IS ON !
CFC albuterol inhalers: BANNED effective 12/31/08


I did some research and here is what I found, hope it helps to understand how we need to use the new inhalers.

What bothers me is that no mention from the Dr's. about the inhalers being discontinued, I was just at the Pulmonologist this week for a checkup on the pneumonia which by the way is still lingering, he told me it is like a big ship making a big turn around it will take a long time for me to heal...at least I am up and about as I always say, it could be worse.


Critical Facts Patients Need to Know
FAIRFAX, Va., May 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Millions of asthma
patients and their healthcare providers do not know that at the end of this
year, their life-saving medications will be gone. Today, FDA urged patients
still using chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) albuterol metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) to
switch to alternate hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) inhalers (albuterol and
levalbuterol) before CFCs are completely off the market. As of December 31,
2008, no CFC albuterol inhalers will be manufactured or sold in this country.
CFC is used to propel medication from asthma inhalers into patients'
airways. But it also depletes the earth's ozone layer, so it's being phased
out of medications like inhaled albuterol, one of the top 10 prescriptions
written in the United States. Patients with asthma, COPD and other
respiratory conditions use albuterol at the first sign of symptoms, before
exercise and when experiencing breathing exacerbation's. Alternate inhalers
using HFA as a propellant are replacing CFC albuterol.
"We applaud FDA's efforts to educate patients and medical professionals
about the new HFA inhalers," states Nancy Sander, president and founder of
Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA). "There are critical
differences between CFC and HFA inhalers that patients need to know in order
to use these medications properly."
-- HFA MDIs have a softer spray. Some patients comment that force of the
HFA propellant is not strong enough to "push open" their airways during
an attack. But it is the correct inhalation technique, not the force of
the propellant, that determines how well the medication works. Neither
type of inhaler can push or force airways open.
-- HFA MDIs have different cleaning requirements. HFA MDIs need to be
cleaned more frequently than CFC MDIs. HFAs tend to clog more quickly
than CFCs, preventing medication from reaching patients' airways.
-- HFA MDIs have different priming requirements. Priming (spraying
multiple doses into the air) loads the correct dose of medication
inside the inhaler. Each HFA inhaler has different priming
instructions, which can be quite different from CFC priming.
-- HFA MDIs offer more treatment options. In the past, all brand and
generic albuterol CFC MDIs were virtually identical. Now there are
three uniquely different formulations of albuterol HFA inhalers plus a
levalbuterol HFA inhaler -- each distinctly different from the others.
Some people may find that one HFA inhaler works better for them than
another.
-- HFA MDIs cost more than generic CFC albuterol MDIs. HFA MDIs are not
simply copies of CFC MDIs with new propellants. The inhaler transition
required a complete overhaul of the MDI manufacturing process. No
generic HFA MDIs are currently available. This translates to higher
out-of-pocket expenses for many patients, even those with prescription
drug coverage. Pharmaceutical companies are providing financial
assistance to patients in the form of rebates, discounts and coupons
and patient assistance programs.
"These are lifesaving medications," says Sander. "Patients and medical
professionals need to know that inhalers are changing and have the opportunity
to make the switch in a medically responsible way. Our advice to patients:
Get the facts. Know your options. Make informed choices."
Visit AANMA's MDI Transition Web page at
www.breatherville.org/MDITransition for more information.
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.
SOURCE Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics
Nancy Sander, +1-703-955-6807, or Sandra Fusco-Walker, +1-201-400-8163, both
for Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics

© Thomson Reuters 2008 All rights reserved
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Until we meet again my friends remember,
Inhale ~~~123
Exhale ~~~~1234

Breathe Easy,
Sandy

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please pass this info along to all of your friends and family.
Ozone-friendly inhalers could face early demise
http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20090330/BIZ/303309942/1031/BIZ

Benefits vague, problems clear in inhaler ban
http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20090330/BIZ/303309941

Asthma Patients Outraged at Indifference to Problems with New Inhalers:
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/02/asthma_hfa02.html

Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee: FDA "Insensitive" to Asthma Patients' Problems:
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/03/asthma_hfa04.html

The number of patient complaints is skyrocketing:
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/health/hfa_inhalers.html

Read the thousands of complaints at this petition:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveCFCinhalers/signatures.html

Patients at askapatient.com are reporting HFA inhalers as "useless" with a rating of 1.2 on
a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best and 1 being the worst:
http://www.askapatient.com/viewrating.asp?drug=20503&name=PROVENTIL-HFA

You can only wonder if the FDA is trying to kill asthmatics:
http://www.opednews.com/populum/diarypage.php?did=11627

These quotes taken directly from the new drug application for Ventolin HFA.

"In the multiple dose adolescent and adult studies, albuterol HFA showed a numerically smaller improvement in FEV1 than was seen with albuterol CFC"

"There was other evidence that the HFA formulation delivers a lower/less effective dose on a per acutation basis than the CFC product. In the single dose, dose ranging study in adults, and in the single dose methacholine challenge study in adults one and two acutations of albuterol CFC were statistically indistinguishable in terms of effect, whereas significant differences were seen between one and two acutations of albuterol HFA. Finally, the combined adolescent/adult studies showed that the HFA formulation had a longer median time to onset of effect(4.2-9.6 minutes versus 3.6-4.2 minutes), had a shorter duration of effect(1.55-3.30 hours versus 2.29 - 3.69 hours), and was associated with more albuterol 'back up' use than the CFC formulation."

"We note that in the two 12 week clinical trials in adolescents and adults, Ventolin HFA Inhalation Aerosol consistently showed a smaller effect size than Ventolin CFC Inhalation Aerosol"

"Because it is expected that many physicians will prescribe Ventolin HFA Inhalation Aerosol for patients who have previously used the CFC formulation, it would be appropriate to include some description of the relative effectiveness of these two formulations in the product label."

"Unfavorable changes in physical examinations were observed in the ears, nose, and throat category as follows: 8% placebo HFA; 13% albuterol HFA; and 5% albuterol CFC."

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