Picture this. A patient sits in room number 4 as their physician demonstrates the steps required to use their newly prescribed inhaler. The physician says,
“So I’m going to write you a prescription for a metered-dose inhaler. To use it correctly you need to take a deep breath out, then hold it up to your mouth and inhale as you simultaneously press down on the top. Give it a try.”
The patient tries to use the device and struggles with the hand-breath coordination needed to help their COPD. The physician says,
“I can see the hand-breath coordination is not allowing you to get the medication you need. Let’s go with an aerosol delivery device that requires less steps. This will help you get the proper amount of daily medication needed to help your symptoms.”
For patients to adhere to therapy, they can’t just have an effective device. They need to have the right one—one that considers their abilities, fits easily into their life, and addresses their medical need. The inhaler discussed above may be ideal for some patients. But for others, it may be way too complicated. This can lead to confusion, then lack of use. And you know all too well what comes next.