The ProAir Digihaler, a digital inhaler designed for people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to monitor their inhaler usage through the use of a mobile app, is now available by prescription in the U.S.
The albuterol inhaler (albuterol sulfate, 117 micrograms), developed by Teva Pharmaceuticals, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late 2018. It is indicated for the treatment and prevention of bronchospasms — constricting of the airways that can make it difficult to breathe — in people 4 and older.
“The launch of ProAir Digihaler and its companion app provides a great opportunity for bringing a new digital health tool to asthma and COPD patients in the U.S.,” Brendan O’Grady, executive vice president, North America Commercial at Teva Pharmaceuticals, said in a press release.
“We are especially proud to provide our first Digihaler product at a time when digital health technology is growing and continues to transform patient care, since it will enable patients to electronically record and monitor their rescue inhaler use,” O’Grady said.
Albuterol, the medication delivered by the inhaler, is a short-acting beta-agonist bronchodilator that can relieve COPD bronchospasms by relaxing the muscles of the airways, allowing them to open up.
The ProAir Digihaler has built-in sensors and is able to record and store objective data related to inhaler use, such as the time of use and the rate of inhalation. Patients can view these data on the inhaler’s companion app and, if they wish, share the data with their healthcare providers (HCPs). This is expected to provide objective data that patients and HCPs can use to inform care decisions.
“It is our belief that ProAir Digihaler and the companion app will help address an unmet need for HCPs by providing objective rescue inhaler use data when managing their patients,” said Sven Dethlefs, executive vice president, Global Marketing and Portfolio at Teva Pharmaceuticals.
“Ultimately, this technology may help patients who use ProAir Digihaler and its accompanying app to have a better-informed dialogue with their HCP about their disease management and treatment decisions,” Dethlefs said.
The ProAir Digihaler is approved for patients 4 or older. Its wholesale acquisition cost — that is, the amount it costs if purchased directly from the manufacturer, also called the list price — is $146.67. The actual cost to patients and providers will vary based on individual factors (insurance, etc.).