Prescription inhaler fills soared in 2020 amid West Coast fires

Fills for prescription short-acting beta agonist inhalers increased by about 30 percent during the weeks the West Coast experienced poor air quality due to fires, according to research released Dec. 15 by telemedicine and prescription discount company GoodRx.

The researchers studied the relationship between air quality and weekly fill rates for short-acting beta agonists in California, Washington and Oregon from July 5 to Sept. 30, using fine particulate matter pollution data as a measure of air quality.

Inhaling fine particulate matter pollution can be detrimental to a person's health and can cause fatal complications for individuals infected with COVID-19. 

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