Some 6,000 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can now get inhalers to treat their condition for free after the government added the medication to its list of free medication. 

In a press conference at Mater Dei on Wednesday, Health Minister Chris Fearne said the decision to provide the inhalers - referred to as Lamas - will mean less people will require treatment at the hospital. 

Taken once a day, the medication helps with breathing problems. COPD is more common among smokers, Fearne said. 

The inhalers will be for those with severe cases of the condition. 

"Most people who are admitted to hospital with respiratory conditions have COPD and so with the Lamas, the impact on the hospital will diminish," he said. 

The inhalers became available for free in the past days. 

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.