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Asthma inhaler cost reduced by 40%

A manufacturer has announced a large reduction in the cost of its low-dose dry-powder asthma inhaler.

GlaxoSmithKline is cutting the price of its Seretide Accuhaler 100 to £18 for a 30 day course, a reduction of 42% from 1 January. The move equalises the price of the Accuhaler 100 with the company's Evohaler 50.

Dr Sally Taylor, respiratory medical director at GSK said: ‘We hope that this move will help facilitate the implementation of the BTS/SIGN Guideline  for the treatment of asthma, such that patients are started on the lowest appropriate dose and that therapy is stepped down once asthma is controlled.'

Dr Steve Holmes, education lead for the Primary Care Respiratory Society and a GP in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, said:  ‘Any cost reductions should make doctors think about whether they should be changing their decision about prescribing. We will have to re-evaluate the cost benefits of different inhalers out there.'

He added: ‘The most effective inhaler is the one the patient uses. There's a huge body of evidence about under-compliance. Some of the reasons why this might happen are to do with the inhaler, such as ease of use and portability.'

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