Existing asthma treatment Symbicort is now registered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to be used, as needed, for people with mild asthma.
Until now, Symbicort was only registered, as needed, for maintenance treatment for people living with moderate-to-severe asthma. Symbicort Turbuhaler 200/6 and Symbicort Rapihaler 100/3 are now available for as needed use in mild asthma. This is in addition to its license for use in more severe forms of asthma.
People with asthma should be aware that under this new registration Symbicort is not yet reimbursed by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This means that a prescription for either of these two Symbicort inhalers for treatment as needed will be dispensed at the price of a private prescription. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Council are currently considering the proposal to include Symbicort in the list of subsidised medicines under the PBS for treatment in this new way. For maintenance treatment, Symbicort is subsidised on the PBS.
People with asthma who are already prescribed Symbicort Turbuhaler (200/6) and Rapihaler (100/3) as an asthma maintenance treatment should continue as per their asthma plan, as prescribed by their health professional.
As this treatment combines both a preventer and reliever medicine, it has the potential to reduce inflammation in the lungs.
Asthma Australia will continue to keep our community up to date with any further developments as they arise. See the TGA website for more information.