Teva Respiratory is providing resources for patients that will be affected by the phase-out of the over-the-counter asthma inhaler Primatene Mist.

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Teva offers assistance with inhaler phase-out

October 5th, 2011

HORSHAM, Pa. – Teva Respiratory is providing resources for patients that will be affected by the phase-out of the over-the-counter asthma inhaler Primatene Mist.

The Food and Drug Administration has mandated that inhalers containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) be taken off the market after Dec. 31, 2011, in order to comply with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Primatene Mist, marketed by Armstrong Pharmaceutical Inc., is the only OTC asthma inhaler with CFCs. As a result, the FDA is urging patients to find a replacement product.

To help patients using that inhaler, who will need to see a health care professional to switch to another asthma medication, Teva Respiratory is offering support through several programs, including financial assistance programs, asthma product samples available through health professionals and asthma education resources.

Teva Respiratory this week said it's making asthma product samples for ProAir HFA (albuterol sulfate) Inhalation Aerosol (quick-relief albuterol inhaler) and for QVAR (beclomethasone dipropionate HFA) Inhalation Aerosol (asthma control inhaler) available to patients through health care practitioners.

In addition, the company is offering financial assistance to qualifying patients via the Teva Assistance Program, which provides free ProAir HFA and QVAR inhalers. Additional information on the Teva Assistance Program and program forms can be accessed at the resources section of the ProAir HFA website, Patients and health care providers can also call the toll-free Teva Assistance Program line at (877) 254-1039 for more information.

Teva Respiratory said it's also increasing the amount of asthma education resources available to aid in the transition. These patient education resources are available through health care providers as well as on the website.

"Teva Respiratory is committed to providing valuable patient-assistance programs to ensure asthma patients have access to treatment options and, along with their health care professional, are properly treating and managing their condition," commented Mark Salyer, executive vice president and general manager at Teva Respiratory."

The nation's asthma rates continue to rise, with an estimated 25 million people, or nearly 10% of the population, currently diagnosed with asthma, Teva Respiratory reported. The impact of asthma results in about 2 million emergency room visits, 14 million lost work days and almost 11 million lost school days per year.

"As asthma rates are constantly increasing in the U.S., it's important for people to understand the importance of speaking with their health care professionals so that they can be evaluated and potentially treated for this chronic disease," stated Paul Dorinsky, M.D., vice president for Teva Global Respiratory research and development. "For patients with persistent asthma, national guidelines and the FDA recommend using both a quick-relief HFA inhaler to alleviate acute symptoms and a long-term control inhaler daily."