EcoWeek,  October 28, 2002


NEWS SUMMARY: GlaxoSmithKline introduces CFC-free versions of familiar asthma relief products

MISSISSAUGA, ONT-The pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has introduced a new environmentally-friendly delivery system for its pressurized asthma inhaler products, Flovent(R) (fluticasone propionate) and Ventolin(R) (salbutamol sulfate) in Canada. Known as Flovent HFA and Ventolin HFA, the new metered dose inhalers use a non-chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellant to deliver these asthma medications. GSK spent over $400 million to develop the CFC-free propellant for its inhalers in compliance with the terms of the Montreal Protocol for control of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). While the pharmaceutical industry uses only very small quantities of CFCs as a propellant in asthma inhalers and other inhalation aerosols, the transition to CFC-free products will help to further protect the environment, says the company. In addition to receiving approval from Health Canada, Ventolin HFA is currently approved in more than 50 countries, while Flovent HFA is approved in more than 25 countries. Substitution of these new products for the CFC-based versions should be complete by the end of 2002.

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