UK Inhaler Group (UKIG) welcomes change in colour of AstraZeneca’s Duaklir® Genuair® inhaler

2nd July 2015

The UK Inhaler Group (UKIG) has welcomed AstraZeneca’s decision to change the colour of their Duaklir® Genuair® inhaler from white with a turquoise-blue cap and dosage button to white with an orange cap and dosage button.

Common practice in the UK amongst healthcare professionals, patients, patient support groups, and news organisations has been to describe short-acting beta2-agonist (SABA) inhalers such as salbutamol and terbutaline as “blue” or “reliever” inhalers. This practice led to the association of blue inhalers as being used as emergency ‘as required’ medication for urgent relief of breathlessness, wheezing and chest tightness.

The UKIG recommend that blue colouring on inhaler devices should be reserved for “reliever” inhalers and should not be present on “preventer” inhalers, in case this confuses patients who may mistakenly take extra doses during the day or night rather than using their “reliever” inhaler.

Concerns were raised regarding the turquoise-blue colouring on the Duaklir® Genuair® inhaler and the potential for it to cause patients to mistakenly use this inhaler as a reliever rather than the recommended dose of one puff twice a day, which could put them at risk of experiencing side effects from any additional doses.

Education for Health Chief Executive Monica Fletcher is also chair of the UKIG. She praised this important change:

We are delighted with the proactive response from AstraZeneca to collective concerns about the importance of colour coding inhaler devices and the potential for serious patient safety risks associated with the colour of inhaler devices. By changing the colour of the Duaklir® Genuair® inhaler we believe that greater clarity and patient safety will result.”

To read the full statement from the UKIG please visit this link.

About the UK Inhaler Group:

The UK Inhaler Group is a coalition of not-for-profit organisations and professional societies with a common interest in promoting the correct use of inhaled therapies to improve the outcomes of patients with respiratory conditions.

The UK Inhaler Group consists of the Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists, Asthma UK, British Lung Foundation, British Thoracic Society, Education for Health, Primary Care Respiratory Society, Respiratory Education UK, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association.