A dose counter has been added to familiar Ventolin (salbutamol sulfate) metered dose inhalers, and the updated inhaler is now reimbursed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
GSK Australia says the the integration of a dose counter with the Ventolin inhaler will allow patients to view the number of doses remaining in their inhalers, which will enable better monitoring of medication usage and ensure adequate supply when needed.
According to the company, there will be a transition to Ventolin with dose counter over four to six months, while existing stock of the product continues to be sold in pharmacies. There may be limited availability of Ventolin with dose counter in the early months, according to a GSK spokesperson, to the end of 2020.
Healthcare professionals should advise patients to expect to receive their regular Ventolin inhaler (without a dose counter) until the transition period is complete, the manufacturer says.
Professor Adam Jaffe, Professor of Paediatrics and Respiratory Paediatrician, says the introduction of a dose counter is a timely and positive development for Australians living with obstructive airway diseases like asthma.
“The ability to know how much Ventolin is left in the puffer can help patients manage their asthma better,” Professor Jaffe said. “Previously people would shake the puffer or weigh it; however, these are very inaccurate methods to assess if there was any Ventolin in the puffer. The addition of the dose counter means that patients can ensure they have a puffer available with remaining doses if needed in an asthma flare-up.”