AZ discontinues manufacture of Pulmicort

 AstraZeneca is to discontinue the production of its Pulmicort (budesonide) pMDI (pressurised metered dose inhaler) due to complex manufacturing issues with the device.

Pulmicort is an inhaled anti-inflammatory glucocorticosteroid for initiation and maintenance treatment of bronchial asthma in infants, children and adults

The company has advised patients to continue using the product until their current supply is finished and then to contact their physician about alternative treatments.

David Smith, Executive Vice President, Global Operations and IS, AstraZeneca (pictured), said: “We have exhausted all potential solutions in our efforts to continue supplying this medicine. The time required to fully resolve the technical issues is highly uncertain.

“We believe it is our responsibility to communicate our decision swiftly, as it is in the patient’s best interest to find an alternative medication as soon as possible.”

The company added that it is “working closely with the appropriate regulatory authorities, healthcare professionals, and informing manufacturers of similar asthma medications, where appropriate, to ensure all patients continue to receive the appropriate alternative treatment”.

The issues are unique to the Pulmicort product, the company has said, and so do not affect other AZ respiratory products, including Pulmicort Turbuhaler, Pulmicort Respules and Pulmicort Flexhaler.