September 23, 2011
The Food and Drug Administration has decided that all those wheezing asthma sufferers can afford to shell out a little more for their inhalers and have banned all over the counter puffers. They’ll have to pay more for “prescription-only alternatives” because the OTC brands contain cloro-florocarbons
, which damage the ozone:
The action is part of an agreement signed by the U.S. and other nations to stop using substances that deplete the ozone layer, a region in the atmosphere that helps block harmful ultraviolet rays from the Sun.
But the switch to a greener inhaler will cost consumers more. Epinephrine inhalers are available via online retailers for around $20, whereas the alternatives, which contain the drug albuterol, range from $30 to $60.
The FDA finalized plans to phase out the products in 2008 and currently only Armstrong Pharmaceutical’s Primatene mist is available in the U.S. Other manufacturers have switched to an environmentally-friendly propellant called hydrofluoroalkane. Both types of inhalers offer quick-relief to symptoms like shortness of breath and chest tightness, but the environmentally-friendly inhalers are only available via prescription.
There are only 1-2 million people using Primatene. I can’t imagine that would be that big of an impact on the ozone layer. Nonetheless, if you suffer from asthma, your medical bill is about to increase, possibly double or triple.
Wheeeeeeez Wheeeeeeez Wheeeeeeez ….but at least I’m not hurting the environment