Salbutamol Inhalers on List of Interchangeable Medicines

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has recently included a group of Salbutamol 100mcg pressurised metered-dose inhalers on the List of Interchangeable Medicines. As this is the first group of inhalers to be deemed interchangeable, we draw pharmacists' attention to practice issues in this area.

Inhaler Technique

Inhaler technique may differ between the different inhaler devices on the interchangeable list, and the pharmacist must take particular care in counselling patients on the use of their inhaler, and most importantly when there is a change to the product supplied. Pharmacists must familiarize themselves with relevant information in the SmPC and patients should be made aware of the support information on the safe and effective use of the inhaler contained in the Package Leaflet (PL).

Spacer Devices

When a spacer device or inhaler aid is or has been supplied, pharmacists should ensure compatibility of the inhaler provided and the device in question. Information on this compatibility can be found by contacting the relevant Marketing Authorisation Holder.

As the HPRA interchangeable lists are subject to regular updates, all pharmacists are encouraged to subscribe to the HPRA website updates service, ensuring that they have indicated that they wish to receive updates on this subject.

Pharmacists should be aware that as yet the HSE have not provided a reference price for this medicine. Further information on reference pricing is available on the HSE website.

This update was included in Issue 2 of the PSI Newsletter (July) 2018