UK MHRA ALERTS OF DIFFERENCES IN NEW CFC-FREE INHALERS
The UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has sent a letter to healthcare professionals about the prescribing of chloroflourocarbon (CFC)-free inhalers to treat asthma. There are two CFC-free inhalers available on the UK market, which contain beclometasone dipropionate, called Clenil Modulite and Qvar.
However, the MHRA warns that these new inhalers have been designed differently and provide different quantities of the active drug to the lungs. Qvar is approximately twice as potent as Clenil Modulite. Qvar is manufactured by Ivax, and the Chiesi Group makes Clenil Modulite.
According to the MHRA, the difference in the two
inhalers should be taken into account to ensure that patients receive an appropriately
effective dose and to prevent potential safety concerns arising if patients are
either switched from a CFC-containing inhaler to a new CFC-free inhaler, or if
patients are switched from one CFC-free inhaler to the other. Healthcare professionals
should state clearly on the prescription which product should be dispensed by
using the brand name rather than prescribing the inhaler by using the generic
name, since both contain the same active ingredient.