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New Inhaler Adapter for Elderly and Arthritic COPD Patients RIDGEFIELD, Conn.,

July 27, 2004 PRNewswire

Up until now, many elderly and arthritic patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are unable to manually utilize inhalation aerosols (metered-dose inhalers) have had to rely on a nebulizer machine to take the medication needed to help them breathe better. But now, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has developed a new adapter for metered-dose inhalers that may give those patients the option of using an inhaler, which is more convenient to use when taking COPD medication. The new inhaler adapter is designed for use with two leading treatments for COPD -- COMBIVENT(R) (ipratropium bromide and albuterol sulfate) Inhalation Aerosol and ATROVENT(R) (ipratropium bromide) Inhalation Aerosol. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals began distributing the free adapters today to 30,000 physician offices across the country. "This new adapter will give treating physicians the opportunity to prescribe COPD medication in a more convenient form to those patients who have been unable to use an inhaler because they are unable to press down the canister," said Dr. Mitchell Friedman, FCCP, a leading COPD researcher and practicing physician from Tulane University. "To treat their COPD, many elderly and arthritic patients have had to use a nebulizer, which is a much longer process, 10 to 15 minutes per treatment, up to four times each day." COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. This smoking-related lung disease is characterized by breathing difficulties because of either chronic bronchitis or emphysema. The National Center for Health Statistics estimates there are 30 million Americans, 15 percent of the U.S. adult population, who may be affected by COPD. More than half, or 16 million, have been diagnosed with COPD. If left untreated, the condition progresses through a patient's lifetime. Symptoms of COPD include chronic cough, shortness of breath, increased mucus, frequent clearing of the throat and a limited exercise tolerance. Of the 16 million adult Americans who have been diagnosed with COPD, more than 7 million are older than 45. "There are COPD patients out there who are not taking their medication properly due to the loss of strength that comes with aging, and in some cases due to physical disabilities, such as arthritis," said Manfred Haehl, M.D., senior vice president, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "It's hoped this new adapter will help those patients to get the most out of their COPD inhalation aerosol medication." The new adapter was designed to allow easy use. A canister of COMBIVENT(R) Inhalation Aerosol or ATROVENT(R) Inhalation Aerosol slides into the opening of the adapter. The new inhaler accessory, which looks like a hand pump and fits into the palm of the hand, is easy to depress to administer the medication through the mouth and into the lungs. COMBIVENT(R) Inhalation Aerosol is indicated for use in COPD patients who are using a regular aerosol bronchodilator, but continue to have evidence of bronchospasm and require a second bronchodilator. ATROVENT(R) Inhalation Aerosol is indicated as a bronchodilator for maintenance treatment of bronchospasm associated with COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The adapter was designed by PharmaDesign, working in conjunction with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, maker of COMBIVENT and ATROVENT. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation (Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim worldwide group of companies. Boehringer Ingelheim, headquartered in Ingelheim (Germany) ranks among the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world. It reported revenues exceeding DM 8.7 billion in 1998. The corporation has more than 140 affiliated companies and it conducts business on every continent. Its product range is focused on human pharmaceuticals -- hospital, prescription and self-medication -- as well as animal health.

Source: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


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