New digital inhaler for asthma patients receives FDA approval

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The FDA has approved a combination therapy digital inhaler for treatment of asthma among patients aged 12 years and older.

The AirDuo Digihaler inhalation powder (Teva Pharmaceuticals) combines fluticasone propionate and salmeterol in a digital inhaler. It has built-in sensors connecting a mobile application to provide information on inhaler use.

It is similar to the company’s ProAir Digihaler inhalation powder, which is used for treatment or prevention of bronchospasm in patients aged 4 years and older who suffer from reversible obstructive airway disease.

Sensors in the new combination therapy digital inhaler detects when the inhaler is used and measures inspiratory flow rates. Later the patients can review this data, share it with healthcare providers and set reminders to take their medication.

Nabeel Farooqui, MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI, assistant professor in the department of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, said in the press release that even the most diligent asthma patients might not realize that they aren’t following their treatment regimen, despite their best efforts.

The data and insights about the ability to measure their inspiratory flow rates, track their maintenance medication use, and the frequency with which they use their inhaler, helps to inform treatment discussions with physicians. It is certainly exciting that patients can now share this type of information.

The FDA approved AirDuo Digihaler in doses of 55/14 µg, 113/14 µg and 232/14 µg administered as one inhalation twice daily. According to the press release the device is expected to be available to patients with a prescription by 2020.