FDA phasing out asthma inhalers using CFC propellant

Posted: 4/13/2010

UPDATE 7/22/10: Please note that the LA Times ran this story with incorrect dates (as seen below). The correct dates as given by the FDA are: 

The affected products and their phase out schedule include:

Inhaler Medication
Last Date to be manufactured, sold or dispensed in U.S.Manufacturer
Tilade Inhaler (nedocromil) June 14, 2010King Pharmaceuticals
Alupent Inhalation Aerosol (metaproterenol) June 14, 2010Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals
Azmacort Inhalation Aerosol (triamcinolone) Dec. 31, 2010 Abbott Laboratories
Intal Inhaler (cromolyn) Dec. 31, 2010 King Pharmaceuticals
 Aerobid Inhaler System (flunisolide) June 30, 2011 Forest Laboratories
 Combivent Inhalation Aerosol (albuterol and ipratropium in combination) Dec. 31, 2013Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals
 Maxair Autohaler (pirbuterol) Dec. 31, 2013 Graceway Pharmaceuticals

From Los Angeles Times:

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it is taking a long-expected step and phasing out the production and sale of asthma inhalers using chlorofluorocarbons as a propellant. The chlorofluorocarbons, commonly known as CFCs, were once widely used in a variety of applications, especially as refrigerants, because of their inertness, but they have been shown to damage the Earth's ozone layer, which protects life from the damaging effects of the sun's ultraviolet rays. Most uses of the chemicals have already been abandoned. Medical devices employing them are among the last to be affected.

Four of the seven devices using CFCs are no longer being made, but they are being banned to prevent their reintroduction. The rest will be forbidden after the end of 2013. Patients using inhalers will be able to buy alternative inhalers containing the same drugs but using different propellents – most notably hydrofluoroalkane, which is destroyed in the atmosphere before it can reach the ozone layer.

The devices that are no longer being made and whose sale will be forbidden after June 14 are:
- Tilade Inhaler, made by King Pharmaceuticals
- Alupent Inhalation Aerosol, made by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals
- Azmacort Inhalation Aerosol, made by Abbott Laboratories
- Intal Inhaler, made by King Pharmaceuticals

The three products whose sale will be permitted until Dec. 31, 2013, are:
- Aerobid Inhaler System, made by Forest Laboratories
- Combivent Inhalation Aerosol, made by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals
- Maxair Autohaler, made by Graceway Pharmaceuticals

The agency cautioned against buying any of the banned products over the Internet because they are often mislabeled or do not contain effective ingredients.

Original here

View the FDA news release