Tuesday, July 01, 2008

FDA To Asthmatics: Stifle Yourself

Perhaps that's a little strong, but FDA is banning the "Primatine Mist™"-style rescue inhalers -- including, as nearly as I can find, some prescription types -- over concerns that CFCs in the propellant will destroy the ozone layer and kill Mother Earth. Considering the palm-able size of these gadgets and the quick shot of the stuff it takes to bail sufferers out of a bad asthma attack, the message is clear: the FDA would rather bask in the smug glow of a largely symbolic act than let little Jimmy take a breath. Yes, there is a replacement but it's more costly, harder to find, not as forceful and tastes awful.

My ex suffered from asthma controlled, as is most often the case now, by medication that kept attacks from happening -- mostly. He'd still have the occasional one and he kept a (prescription) rescue inhaler of the to-be-banned sort. Since his attacks were few and far between, he sometimes failed to carry it, so ready availability of over-the-counter relief was important. There is little love lost between us, but you don't have to be all that fond of a person to not want them to suffer asphyxiation. Especially not as a result of green-brained nonsense.

Wears-his-rump-for-a-hat money quote:
Dennis Acha of Breathe California said,” We have to look at the big picture. People with asthma depend on a good environment."
Mebbeso, Kemo Sabe, but when you can't depend on your next breath, high-minded abstractions are just the teensiest bit awkward to entertain.

But hey, forget those ickily gasping asthmatics, how 'bout them snail darters?


Mr. Fixit said...

I really hope the drug companies come up with some replacement gas for the deliveries. Those little inhalers are great. Can't keep track of the number of times I've seen them used in schools. It's really great to see a kid who suffers from asthma be able to participate in activites because he knows he has an inhaler if he needs it.

Stupid government.

Anonymous said...

There are no words for how fundamentally angry this makes me.

This is why I never blog about environmental issues; damn near everybody involved makes me so skull-popping pissed off that when I try, all that comes out is a spiraling descent into random profanity.

Anonymous said...

From the linked article: Patients are also concerned about the cost because there is no generic version of the new green inhalers.

And that, right there, has got to be how this numbskull legislation got passed. The greenies might have thought of it first ("we need fewer people on the planet anyway!"), but it would not have passed without a push from someone eager to make a buck from government meddling.

Anonymous said...


Looks like I will be getting more customers.


Anonymous said...

Plain vanilla generic albuterol rescue inhaler $7. Politically correct " green" albuterol inhaler "Proventil" $45+

Roberta X said...

Labrat: is it bad or good that I know exactly the emotional reaction you mean?

Pax, bingo! (And welcome, btw!)

Medicaman: "Business is booming" is not a good thing in your trade. It seems insane to me that FDA would take a useful medication off the table over the harm the smidgen of CFC's used in it might do to the ozone layer. Couldn't Uncle Sam just recover the freon from a dozen big air-conditioning systems and call it even?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know what numbers they used to justify this. C'mon, the inhalers can't put out much of this stuff.
(And we wonder what keeps driving the cost of medicine up.)

Ken said...

Yet another immoral and unjust malum prohibitum act of government.

Puts me in mind of Thoreau: "Waldo, the question is, what are you doing out there?"

Anonymous said...

I have to carry an Albuterol inhaler with me everywhere, on the off chance I catch a whiff of a skunk, bad B.O., or some plant that doesn't like me and clamp up tighter than an old man's wallet.

Last August, my inhaler was "reformulated" because one of the propellants "harmed the ozone layer."

The new ones suck eggs. I have to take four puffs just to be able to breathe enough to take the two needed to get rid of my attack!

On top of that, this new formulation doesn't come with all the pleasant side effects of my old inhaler. No more am I rewarded with a pleasant dizzyness and slight euphoria. Now I just get a headache and my throat hurts. It's like they replaced pot with ditch weed. (Not that I'd know. Seriously.)