SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration will start phasing out asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease inhalers that contain ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons in less than two months, the agency announced Tuesday.
The agency announced in 2008 that it would require CFC as a propellant in inhalers to be replaced by hydrofluoroalkane. On June 14, King Pharmaceuticals’ Tilade (nedocromil) and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Alupent (metaproterenol) inhalers will be removed from the market, followed by Abbott Labs’ Azmacort (triamcinolone) and King’s Intal (cromolyn) in December. Forest Labs’ Aerobid (flunisolide), BI’s Combivent (albuterol and ipratropium) and Graceway’s Maxair Autohaler (pirbuterol) will disappear in 2011 and 2013.
“During this transition, FDA wants to ensure that patients have access to safe and effective alternative medications to treat their asthma or COPD,” FDA Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Rheumatology Products director Badrul Chowdhury said. “We are currently working with professional societies and patient organizations to make sure patients understand which products will no longer be available and have information on which alternative medication might work best for them.”
The government began banning CFCs in consumer products in the 1970s and eliminated most CFC production in the United States in 1996. The FDA initially proposed phasing out CFC-based inhalers in 2007.