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CBS News: A popular asthma inhaler will be discontinued in January. Here's what to know.

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By Elizabeth Napolitano

Flovent, a popular steroid inhaler used to treat and control asthma symptoms in children and adults, is being discontinued as its manufacturer prepares to roll out a generic version of the medication. 

Starting on Jan. 1, 2024, GlaxoSmithKline will stop manufacturing Flovent HFA and Flovent Diskus. In its place, the biopharmaceutical company will produce a generic version of the prescription inhaler featuring an identical formula and drug-delivery mechanism, GSK said in a statement last fall posted by the Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). 

While GSK says Flovent's generic makeover will "provide patients in the U.S. with potentially lower cost alternatives of ... medically important products," some medical professionals aren't convinced.

The American Academy of Pediatrics warned that the discontinuation of Flovent could leave patients who rely on the popular asthma treatment to deal with higher co-pays and delayed access as a result of authorization requirements, the group said in a statement earlier this month.  

Parents and patients taking Flovent should speak to their physicians about possible alternatives right away, Christopher M. Oermann, M.D., a member of the AAP, said in the statement. He also recommends they call their insurers about coverage for alternatives.

"It's best to think about it now," Dr. Oermann said, "not wait until it actually happens and then scramble to figure it out."


Read the full article via CBS News.

Children's Mercy Division of Allergy, Immunology, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine