Faulty inhalers 'could put lives at risk'

For immediate release: Wednesday 21 February 2018

The Medicines Healthcare Regulations Agency (MHRA) has announced that two lots of faulty Ventolin Accuhaler reliever inhalers (blue) and one lot of faulty Seretide Accuhaler combination inhalers (purple) have been recalled. The batch numbers affected are 5K8W, 786G and 754P and the number can be found on the back of the inhaler.

Dr Andy Whittamore, Clinical Lead at Asthma UK and a practicing GP, says:

“It is extremely worrying that some people with asthma may have faulty inhalers and it could put people’s lives at risk. The Ventolin inhalers are reliever inhalers and so are used by people while they are experiencing asthma symptoms such as a cough, breathlessness, wheezing or a tight chest. If someone’s inhaler is faulty they may find it doesn’t help which could be frightening and mean they’re more likely to have an asthma attack.

“We’d urge everyone with asthma to check if their inhaler is from the affected batch by checking the number on the bottom of their inhaler. If it is affected, they should get medical advice and return the inhaler to their pharmacist for a replacement.

“To stay well with asthma, we’d also encourage everyone with the condition to taking their preventer medicines as prescribed, use a written asthma action plan and go for an asthma review at least once a year. To find out more about what to do when you are having an asthma attack, visit www.asthma.org.uk/recalled-inhalers.”


For further information, please contact:

Anna Mauremootoo, Senior Media Officer, Asthma UK

0207 786 4949 out of hours 07951 721393



Notes to editors:

  • are blue and act quickly to give on-the-spot relief from asthma symptoms and asthma attacks.
  • Seretide Accuhaler inhalers are purple and combine two kinds of medicine: combination preventer to relieve ongoing symptoms, such as breathlessness and a tight chest, and a corticosteroid preventer to help prevent inflammation in your airways over the long term.

Total number of faulty Ventolin Accuhaler inhalers: 4,653

Total number offaulty Seretide Accuhaler inhalers: 1,464

  • In 2016, 628,493 Ventolin accuhaler inhalers were prescribed in England for asthma and COPD.
  • In 2016, 733,453 Seretide 250 accuhaler inhalers were prescribed for asthma and COPD.
  • Please note these figures refer to the total number of inhalers prescribed – and not the total number of faulty inhalers.
  • Data sourced from the regular Prescription Cost Analysis for England in 2016, via NHS Digital. https://digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB23631 ‘Prescription Cost Analysis, England – 2016: Data Tables’. ‘Individuals_prescriptions’ tab.


About Asthma UK

  • In the UK, 5.4 million people are currently receiving treatment for asthma: 1.1 million children (1 in 11) and 4.3 million adults (1 in 12).
  • Every day, the lives of three families are devastated by the death of a loved one to an asthma attack, and tragically two thirds of these deaths are preventable.
  • Asthma UK’s mission is to stop asthma attacks and cure asthma. We do this by funding world leading research, campaigning for improved care and supporting people to reduce their risk of a potentially life-threatening asthma attack.
  • For more information about asthma please visit www.asthma.org.uk