UPDATE 1/26/2009 -
- – - – - – - – - -
In case you didn’t know as of December 31, 2008 you can no longer buy any prescription inhalers that use CFCs to eject the medicine. The FDA is also expected to phase out the over the counter (OTC) asthma medicine that uses CFC’s as well.
What does this mean? No more rescue inhalers will be sold over the counter like Primatene Mist unless they change their ejection method to not use CFCs.
What the heck? CFCs in my inhaler are that much of a detriment to the ozone layer that they need to ban all sales of Primatene? I for one (and I am not alone) do not like the HFA inhalers, which are the supposed replacement to the CFC ones.
I have had many prescriptions for different inhalers including some steroid ones and not one of them work as well as the Primatene one. Of course doctors don’t want you to use OTC drugs because then you are treating yourself without a doctor’s supervision. All I can say about this is I have had doctors write me prescriptions for all different drugs and none of them worked, except for Singulair which is a miracle drug, at least for me.
According to the FDA’s website, they are implementing the ban by the end of 2010. Also according to their website;
Epinephrine MDIs are the only devices currently marketed over the counter. Should this rule become final, epinephrine MDI users will have to obtain a prescription for alternative drug products if a non-CFC epinephrine inhaler still does not exist.
Seems to me it is the drug companies at work here, a $15 product that treats my asthma is being removed so that I now have to obtain a prescription for a drug that costs $200? What if I don’t have insurance? This is absurd.
Something else mentioned was the fact that Primatene is not an optimal treatment for asthma;
But some of the physicians on the F.D.A. advisory committee had little sympathy. They said that despite Primatene’s long history of use, there was little evidence of the drug’s safety and effectiveness. Epinephrine is a synthetic version of the human hormone adrenaline.
These doctors said Primatene could even harm patients because of side effects or because users might forgo better treatments. Removing it from the market, they said, could be an opportunity to switch asthma patients to better medications.
“It is clearly not optimum therapy and I think suboptimal therapy is a disservice to our patients,” said Dr. Mark L. Brantly, a pulmonary physician at the University of Florida.
Not optimum therapy? Try telling that to me when my airway is closed and Primatene opens it almost instantly! Their version of HFA-Alburterol does not have the same immediate effect.
Side effects? What about the side effects of the cortiosteroids that they prescribe to inhale? I tried one of them (on a doctor’s recommendation) for a week and my throat started to bleed, now that is a nice side effect!
Another issue as brought up in this NY Times article, what happens when my prescription inhaler runs out, or I forget it at home and I am out and about? If I ever had an asthma attack while out, I could stop in any pharmacy and pick up a Primatene inhaler, this new ruling will make it impossible to do and putting my life at risk.
Primatene has been on the market for over 40 years, now the FDA finally decides that it is time to remove it from the market? How much CFCs can my one little inhaler contain?
My last thought that I will leave you with, if Primatene is banned and there is no other substitute OTC medicine that is affordable and also effective, then people suffering from asthma will certainly die!
A couple of links to other blogs: