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Pharmacies granted permission to advertise puffers and inhalers

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The TGA has issued a temporary permission under Section 42DK of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989to allow pharmacies and others entities (such as emergency evacuation centres) to advise of availability of puffers and other inhalers available over-the-counter (OTC) containing salbutamol (for example, Ventolin).

The TGA has taken this action in recognition that smoke and increased air pollution from bushfires can trigger respiratory symptoms, and that individuals who may have been displaced by the recent bushfires may not have access to their medications or normal place of supply.

Until 30 April 2020, the TGA has granted permission for pharmacies to advertise that:

  • people with asthma or COPD can obtain OTC salbutamol puffers or dry powder inhalers from a particular pharmacy; and
  • people with asthma or COPD can obtain OTC salbutamol puffers or dry powder inhalers from pharmacies with or without prescription if necessary.

The permission also extends to OTC salbutamol advertising activities conducted or facilitated by evacuation centres and other places dealing with displaced people. It also permits advertising that reminds people with asthma or COPD, in the event of an evacuation, to ensure they take the following with them:

  • any salbutamol medicines that they have, and
  • any scripts they have for salbutamol.

This permission expires on 30 April 2020, unless otherwise extended.

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