Lifewatch: New Inhalers

Reported by Kristy Ondo - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - If you have asthma or know someone who does, you may know about the federal government's campaign to change the types of inhalers that are available.

In 2009, you won't even be able to buy the old type of inhalers.  The government is mandating all asthma inhalers be CFC free to protect the environment.

But many patients are unaware of the change.  Patient Katie Shirrell said she didn't even know her doctor prescribed a new inhaler until she filled her prescription.

"It was stronger - it would go to the back of your throat quicker.  This one doesn't really give off very much medicine," said Shirrell.

She said she's had to fight more asthma attacks using her breathing machine.

Pharmacist Randy Berger said some customers are panicking because they don't think they're getting enough medicine.

"You're used to getting this force of medication to you and now all of sudden it's not coming out as forceful, you don't feel you're getting near the dose," said Berger.

In addition, Berger said co-pays are sometimes going up from $7-10 to $45-50.

"Also it used to be you could get 2 inhalers a month now you can really only get one - it just depends on your health plan," said Berger.

For more information about the new inhalers, visit the FDA's website, here.