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Asthma inhaler variant available soon to address increased demand

By Isabel Shaw

07 May 2020

A variation of the regular Clenil 100mcg (beclometasone) asthma inhaler will soon be available for dispensing in the UK to help keep up with increased demand for the medication.

Pharmaceutical company Chiesi has produced the new batch-specific inhaler which was recently approved by Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The first batches will be available to patients starting from 11 May.

Further batches of the Clenil 100mcg batch-specific variation will be released into the supply chain later in the year to keep up with the increased demand.

Last month, the Pharmacist reported the beclometasone inhalers were in short supply due to ‘a dramatic increase’ in demand for the medicine as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Manufacturers had been struggling to replenish their wholesalers with new asthma inhalers quickly enough, which was causing delays in stock.

The new batch-specific inhaler will be the same dose as the regular inhaler, but will vary in appearance: the new actuator is beige and yellow; will not be embossed; the name or dosage is not listed on the product.

The new inhalers require no change to the way they are prescribed or used by patients.

However, healthcare professionals dispensing the medication are encouraged to double-check the dosage of Clenil 100mcg inhaler written on the labelling on the packaging before dispensed.

In a statement, Chiesi asked all ‘healthcare professionals involved in prescribing and dispensing’ inhalers to help maintain the current supply by ‘continuing to write monthly repeat prescriptions rather than prescriptions for multiple months’ supply of inhalers until such time,’ so that the company can continue to supply the product until the increase in demand eases.

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