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Details for Patent: 7,743,765

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Details for Patent: 7,743,765

Title:Inhalation device
Abstract: Actuator for an inhaler for delivering medicament by inhalation, having a main body with 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, including 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. The actuator belongs to a range of inhaler actuators where the outlet assembly is a common part for the range of actuators, and the members of the range of actuators differ by the physical appearance of the main body. The outlet assembly is formed such that it has all parts of the actuator that come into contact with the medicament during normal use, and the main body and the outlet assembly are configured so as to snap-fit together and are provided with complementary snap catch members.
Inventor(s): Hodson; Darren (Shropshire, GB), Rasmussen; Jorgen (Struer, DK)
Assignee: Astrazeneca AB (Sodertalje, SE)
Filing Date:Feb 03, 2006
Application Number:11/346,557
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 actuator belongs to a range of inhaler actuators, the outlet assembly is a common part for the range of actuators, members of the range of actuators differ by a physical appearance of the main body, the outlet assembly is formed such that it comprises all parts of the actuator that come into contact with the medicament during normal use, the main body and the outlet assembly are provided with complementary snap catch members so as to snap-fit together, and the tubular member is provided with a lateral opening at one end of the tubular member for receiving the outlet assembly at an angle transverse to the length the tubular member.

2. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the members of the range of actuators differ in that their respective main bodies are made of materials having different constitution.

3. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the members of the range of actuators differ by the colour of their respective main bodies.

4. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the members of the range of actuators differ by the surface finish of their respective main bodies.

5. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the members of the range of actuators differ by the decoration of their respective main bodies.

6. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the members of the range of actuators differ by the shape of their respective main bodies.

7. The actuator according to claim 6, wherein the main body is given a particular shape that appeals to a specific patient group.

8. The actuator according to claim 6, wherein the main body is shaped to resemble an object other than an actuator for an inhaler.

9. The actuator according to claim 8, wherein the main body is shaped to resemble an animal, a cartoon figure, a plant, a fruit, a toy, a car, or an electronic device.

10. The actuator according to claim 6, comprising a protection cap to be placed over the mouthpiece of the outlet assembly, said cap being an integrated part of the particular shape in the protecting position.

11. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the main body comprises attachment means for a key strap, a belt strap or a wrist strap to enable it to be carried around the neck or the wrist of the patient.

12. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the main body is formed so as to only allow insertion of certain canisters, depending on the medicament contained therein.

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

14. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the main body is provided with an outlet opening for receiving the outlet assembly in a position wherein the mouthpiece extends outside the outlet opening and the nozzle block is arranged in position for receiving the valve stem of the canister.

15. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the snap catch members of both the main body and the outlet assembly are arranged inside the actuator in the assembled state.

16. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein 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 inhaler.

17. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein the nozzle block is connected and supported by the mouthpiece providing an essentially free flow of air about the nozzle block.

18. The actuator according to claim 17, wherein the nozzle block is attached to the mouthpiece by a connection having 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, leaving there between an open path for flow of air during inhalation.

19. The actuator according to claim 1, further comprising one or both of a breath actuation mechanism and a compliance monitor.

20. The actuator according to claim 19, wherein the main body comprises one or both of the breath actuation mechanism and the compliance monitor.

21. The actuator according to claim 19, further comprising a dose counter.

22. The actuator according to claim 1, wherein two or more outlet assemblies are provided each with different configurations.

23. The actuator according to claim 22, wherein the outlet assembly configuration differs by the size of an orifice in the nozzle block.

24. The actuator according to claim 22, wherein the different outlet assembly configurations each can be used with the whole range of main bodies.

25. The actuator according to claim 22, wherein the outlet assembly of one specific configuration is limited to be used with a specific range of actuator housings.

26. The actuator according to claim 22, wherein the different outlet assembly configurations differ in physical appearance.

27. The actuator according to claim 22, comprising a protection cap to be placed over the mouthpiece of the outlet assembly wherein the different outlet assembly configurations are identified by the physical appearance of the protection cap.

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

29. The inhaler according to claim 28, wherein the inhaler is a pressurised metered dose inhaler.

30. The inhaler according to claim 28, wherein the physical appearance of the main body is indicative of the medicament contained in the canister and optionally the dose delivered.

31. The inhaler according to claim 28, wherein the physical appearance of the main body is selected by the patient, from the range of main bodies in order to provide a personalized inhaler.

32. 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 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, the main body of the actuator comprising a tubular member for receiving a canister containing medicament and having a valve stem extending therefrom wherein: the outlet assembly is arranged to be received in a lateral outlet opening at one end of the tubular member at an angle transverse to the length thereof, the outlet assembly is formed such that it comprises all parts of the actuator that come into contact with the medicament during normal use, the main body is provided with an outlet opening and the outlet assembly is arranged to be received in a position wherein the mouthpiece extends outside the outlet opening and the nozzle block is inserted through the outlet opening and arranged in position for receiving the valve stem of the canister, and the outlet opening is a lateral opening at one end of the tubular member and the outlet assembly arranged to be inserted into the outlet opening at an angle transverse to the length of the tubular member.

33. The outlet assembly according to claim 32, wherein it is formed as a single integral moulding.

34. The outlet assembly according to claim 32, wherein it is provided with snap catch members that are complementary to snap catch members of the main body.

35. The outlet assembly according to claim 32, wherein 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 inhaler.

36. The outlet assembly according to claim 32, wherein the nozzle block is connected and supported by the mouthpiece providing an essentially free flow of air about the nozzle block.

37. The outlet assembly according to claim 36, wherein the nozzle block is attached to the mouthpiece by a connection having 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, leaving there between an open path for flow of air during inhalation.
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