The Requirement of Dose Counters on all Rescue Inhalers
To: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
FROM: The American Academy of Physician Assistants in Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAPA-AAI)
On behalf of the members of the American Academy of Physician Assistants in Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAPA-AAI), I am stating that our position on this issue is that we support the requirement of dose counters being put on all rescue inhalers.
Our members our pleased that the requirement of dose counters on rescue inhalers is now being considered by the food and drug administration and congress. For years individuals with asthma and COPD have had access to rescue inhalers like Albuterol which can abort an emergency and keep them out of the emergency room (ER). Unfortunately, a matter of confusion has often been knowing when the inhaler is actually out of an appropriate dose of medicine. Until a recent study was published, one might not have imagined that something as simple as a dose counter on rescue inhalers could have such a significant impact on the reduction of ER visits. The findings presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) reportedly cut ER visits to almost half, and patients with dose counters were able to self manage their asthma more effectively. This results in less overall medical costs, less burden on already crowded ERs, and healthier patients. It can also reduce asthma deaths by preventing the unthinkable situation of someone having an asthma attack and reaching for their inhaler only to find it does not have enough medicine left in it. In hindsight, this study should have been done before now, but since the results are in, and such remarkable results, we should move to approve. AAPA-AAI strongly supports the requirement of dose counters being placed on all rescue inhalers.
Bill Sanders, MS, PA-C
Allergy & Urgent Care
Lake City, FL 32025