Greener Asthma Inhalers on the Horizon
In the online edition of Time magazine, an article reports that asthma inhalers containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) will be illegal for production or sale as of December 31st of this year, because of known detriments of CFCs to the environment. Medical patent attorneys and innovators should look for opportunities to create greener inhalers, particularly as current options are inconvenient.
The current greener asthma inhalers require a specific cleaning procedure to prevent clogging, and they also tend to be more expensive. The CFC-free options on the market today include "GlaxoSmithKline’s Ventolin HFA, Schering Plough’s Proventil HFA and Ivax Corp.’s Proair HFA." These contain albuterol; another inhaler from Sepracor–their Xopenex HFA–contains a similar medication, levalbuterol.
As a medical patent attorney (or at least a patent attorney with a particular specialty and expertise in medical patents anyway), I look forward with interest to green alternatives in asthma inhalers, which are both more convenient and less costly to the consumer. Something to make us all breathe a little easier.