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Friday 12 August 2005

PHARMAC and Ventolin in New Zealand.

By: Gillies J, Brown J, Byrnes C, Farrell A, Graham D.

N Z Med J 2005 Aug 12;118(1220):U1616

Recently, PHARMAC undertook an unfortunate experiment on asthma sufferers when it fundamentally changed its funding support for reliever medications. Ventolin metered dose inhaler (MDI), the backbone of asthma relief for over 30 years, was dropped in favour of Salamol, a post-patent salbutamol in a device which, within the first few weeks of use, has been found to be ineffective by many patients, and thus potentially dangerous. PHARMAC has agreed to reconsider its decision, but how was this decision reached in the first place?

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