Improved Asthma Inhaler Added to the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

August 31, 2020 Updated: August 31, 2020

Australian asthma suffers will now be able to avoid running out of Ventolin when they most desperately need it, with a new inhaler added to the pharmaceutical benefits scheme.

Ventolin inhalers with dose counters will be rolled out over the rest of the year, and will be standard by 2021.

More than 2.7 million Australians are living with diagnosed asthma, resulting in thousands of hospitalisations each year.

Asthma Australia chief executive Michele Goldman says the new ‘puffer’ could reduce hospital visits and even save lives in an emergency.

“People with asthma will often have several relievers in various places, making it easy to lose track of how much medication remains in each canister,” she said in a statement on August 31.

“The new dose counter will definitely help take the guesswork out, and may cut down on wastage too.”

The updated inhalers are reimbursed through the PBS and have been available in pharmacies from August 1.

The first day of spring on Tuesday also heralds the start of National Asthma Week, which Goldman says is a great reminder to check in with your GP.

“Needing to administer a reliever more than two days in a week is usually a sign that someone’s asthma is getting the better of them, adding to burden of asthma on their life,” she said.

“If this is the case, people should see their doctor for a review.”

Tiffanie Turnbull in Sydney