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Monday 24th October 2016

Asthma inhalers to be sold over the counter

23rd July 2012

Asda has confirmed it will begin to sell asthma inhalers over the counter to people without prescriptions from July 24.


Supermarkets will be able to sell blue reliever inhalers this month, enabling asthma sufferers to get medication without going to see their doctor.

The Department of Health said the salbutamol inhalers needed to be sold by supermarket pharmacists "in line with all legal requirements".

Around 5.2 million people in the UK suffer from asthma and the normal charge for two inhalers obtained by prescription in England is £7.65.

People buying the inhalers from supermarkets will be allowed two inhalers for use over a two month period and will be required to complete a questionnaire before purchasing the medication.

Faisal Tuddy, deputy superintendent pharmacist at Asda, said: "All of our pharmacists have been trained and know they mustn't sell the inhalers without due care."

Dr Samantha Walker, executive director of research and policy at Asthma UK, said: "We applaud anything that is going to help asthma suffers but this new service has raised a few questions for us."

"Our main worry is people will overuse their inhalers when they know this service is available. If you use your inhaler too much you may end up in hospital." 

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