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Restrictions on Asthma Drug to be amended



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PRESS RELEASE BY THE COMMONWEALTH MINISTER FOR HEALTH DR. A.J. FORBES

RESTRICTIONS ON ASTHMA DRUG TO BE AMENDED

The drug Intal (disodium cromoglycate) is to be made more

readily available as a pharmaceutical benefit to asthma sufferers.

Intal is a preventive agent against asthma and is inhaled

in powder form into the patient's bronchial tree by use of a device known

as a spinhaler. , .

The Minister for Health, Dr. A.J. Forbes, said today that

Intal had first been listed in December. 1969 as a pharmaceutical benefit

available for use only in approved hospitals. In April this year it had

been made available as a benefit item for prescription by doctors generally

but subject to a special application being made.

These restrictions had been considered necessary because of the

particular properties of the drug and its unique method of administration.

In the light of experience with the drug since it was first

listed as a pharmaceutical benefit, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory

Committee had recently recommended that the criteria for the use of Intal

as a pharmaceutical benefit should again be changed.

Dr, Forbes said he had now approved changes in the conditions

of use of Intal as a pharmaceutical benefit which would make it easier for

doctors to obtain the drug for their patients. The new arrangements would

apply from September 7ยป

Dr. Forbes said the application form which doctors used to

apply for the use of Intal would also be modified in line with the

amendments which had been made to the criteria for supplying the drug.

September 1970 Departmental No. 27