Wal-Mart announces environmentally sustainable inhaler at $9

To help astrhma patients comply with the FDA mandate to replace their CFC-powered inhalers with new HFA inhalers in the new year, Wal-Mart says it will stock an environmentally friendly albuterol rescue inhaler starting at $9, which it said was the "lowest-priced inhaler on the market".

The ReliOn Ventolin HFA inhalers, will be sold exclusively at Wal-Mart.

''While some HFA inhalers may sell for as much as $60 for certain brands, our $9 ReliOn Ventolin HFA inhaler will ease the financial burden for sufferers of asthma who should not go without these life-saving medications,'' said Sandy Kinsey, Wal-Mart's divisional merchandise manager for pharmacy. ''As an advocate for our customers, we're committed to ensuring they have access to affordable medicine they cannot live without.''

According to the 2007 National Institutes of Health (NIH) asthma treatment guidelines, overuse of albuterol is a sign of uncontrolled asthma.

The retailer said on its website, "With 60 metered inhalations, the ReliOn Ventolin HFA inhaler helps both patients and health care professionals monitor and track usage via the dose counter to identify overuse of albuterol."

Additionally, it helps patients track how many puffs remain in their inhaler so they do not run out of their rescue medication when they need it most.