2 March 2021

A new-generation asthma inhaler has made its debut on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), which could spur-on a more sustainable approach for asthma says Asthma Australia.

Asthma Australia has welcomed the PBS listing of Respimat for Spiriva® (tiotropium) and Spiolto® (tiotropium/olodaterol) available in a reusable inhaler for Australians with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The inhaler device can be reused with up to six refill cartridges and includes several design changes to improve handling.

CEO of Asthma Australia Michele Goldman said whilst the medication remained unchanged, the device design certainly challenged the status quo.

“We haven’t seen much evolution towards more environmental asthma devices until now,” said Ms Goldman.

According to the manufacturer Boehringer-Ingelheim, for people prescribed this medication, the reusable design means they’ll go through about two devices per year instead of twelve and this equates to about 1.7 million fewer plastic inhalers being thrown away per year.

“The impact of plastics is a global problem. We hope this is the start of a trend for more sustainable options for the millions of people who use them,” Ms Goldman said.

Pharmacists are being encouraged to give patients a thorough device technique demonstration upon dispensing this new device as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Consumers are encouraged to call an Asthma Educator on 1800 ASTHMA if they have any questions about the refillable device.

For more information on asthma, medications, and devices, please visit www.asthma.org.au

Learn more about Spiriva Respimat here.