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Claims for Patent: 7,367,333

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Claims for Patent: 7,367,333

Title:Inhalation device
Abstract:Actuator for an inhaler for delivering medicament by inhalation. The actuator includes a main body having a tubular member for receiving a canister containing medicament and having a valve stem extending therefrom, and an outlet assembly, as a part formed separately of the main body, having a mouthpiece for guiding medicament to the mouth of a user and a nozzle block for receiving the valve stem of the canister and delivering medicament from the canister into the mouthpiece. At least a part of the outlet assembly is configured so as to deform and optionally break on withdrawal of the outlet assembly from the main body so as to prevent re-use of the outlet assembly.
Inventor(s): Hodson; Darren (Shropshire, GB), Rasmussen; Jorgen (Struer, DK)
Assignee: AstraZene a AB (Sodertalje, SE)
Application Number:10/698,950
Patent Claims: 1. An actuator for an inhaler for delivering medicament by inhalation, comprising: a main body comprising a tubular member for receiving a canister containing medicament and having a valve stem extending therefrom; and an outlet assembly, as a part formed separately of the main body, comprising a mouthpiece for guiding medicament to the mouth of a user and a nozzle block for receiving the valve stem of the canister and delivering medicament from the canister into the mouthpiece; wherein the outlet assembly comprises at least one member connecting a lower part of the mouthpiece with a lower part of the nozzle block and at least one member connecting an upper part of the mouthpiece with an upper part of the nozzle block, wherein at least one of said members connecting the mouthpiece with the nozzle block is formed with a weakened section, and wherein the outlet assembly comprises a catch member arranged to apply a deforming force on the weakened section of the connecting member on withdrawal of the outlet assembly from the main body.

2. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein a connection between the mouthpiece and the nozzle block is configured at least in part to deform and optionally break on withdrawal of the outlet assembly from the main body.

3. The actuator according to claim 2, wherein the at least one member connecting a lower part of the mouthpiece with a lower part of the nozzle block being configured to deform and optionally break on withdrawal of the outlet assembly from the main body.

4. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the tubular member includes a lateral opening at one end thereof for receiving the outlet assembly at an angle transverse to the length thereof.

5. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the main body being provided with an alignment/support structure for the nozzle block arranged to support the nozzle block in the generally vertical direction during actuation of a canister inserted in the actuator.

6. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the main body further comprises a foot at one end of the tubular member thereof which is configured such that, with a canister fitted therein, the actuator will stand unsupported with the tubular member extending generally vertically.

7. The actuator according to claim 6, wherein the bottom surface of the foot includes a recess for receiving a thumb or a finger of a user.

8. The actuator according to claim 7, wherein the recess is concave.

9. The actuator according to claim 6, wherein the bottom surface of the foot is flat.

10. The actuator according to claim 6, wherein the foot comprises one or both of a breath actuation mechanism and a compliance monitor.

11. The actuator according to claim 1, further comprising a breath actuation mechanism.

12. The actuator according to claim 11, wherein the main body comprises the breath actuation mechanism.

13. The actuator according to claim 11, wherein the main body comprises one or both of the breath actuation mechanism and a compliance monitor.

14. The actuator according to claim 1, further comprising a compliance monitor.

15. The actuator according to claim 14, wherein the compliance monitor is a dose counter.

16. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the outlet assembly is formed as a single integral moulding.

17. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the nozzle block includes a bore having an opening for receiving the valve stem of a canister and a spray orifice configured to direct a spray into the mouthpiece.

18. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the main body and the outlet assembly are configured so as to snap-fit together.

19. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the main body and the outlet assembly are of different colour.

20. An inhaler comprising the actuator according to claim 1 and a canister containing medicament.

21. The inhaler according to claim 20, wherein the inhaler is a pressurised metered dose inhaler.

22. An outlet assembly of an actuator for an inhaler for delivering medicament by inhalation, the outlet assembly being a part formed separately of a main body of the actuator, the outlet assembly comprising a nozzle block for receiving a valve stem of a canister containing medicament and delivering medicament from the canister into a mouthpiece for guiding medicament to the mouth of a user, the main body of the actuator comprising a tubular member for receiving the canister, wherein at least a part of the outlet assembly is configured so as to deform and optionally break, to displace the nozzle block out of operable position, on withdrawal of the outlet assembly from the main body, wherein the outlet assembly further comprises at least one member connecting a lower part of the mouthpiece with a lower part of the nozzle block and at least one member connecting an upper part of the mouthpiece with an upper part of the nozzle block, wherein at least one of said members connecting the mouthpiece with the nozzle block is formed with a weakened section, and wherein the outlet assembly comprises a catch member arranged to apply a deforming force on the weakened section of the connecting member upon said withdrawal of the outlet assembly from the main body.

23. The outlet assembly according to claim 22, wherein a connection between the mouthpiece and the nozzle block is configured at least in part to deform and optionally break on withdrawal of the outlet assembly from the main body.

24. The outlet assembly according to claim 23, wherein the at least one member connecting a lower part of the mouthpiece with a lower part of the nozzle block being configured to deform and optionally break on withdrawal of the outlet assembly from the main body.

25. The outlet assembly according to claim 22, wherein it is arranged to be inserted in a lateral opening at one end of, and at an angle transverse to the tubular member.

26. The outlet assembly according to claim 22, wherein it comprises snap fit catch members to enable snap fit connection with a main body.
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