Ozone layer 1 -- Asthmatics - 0 -- as FDA gets set to ban Primatene Mist because of the ozone layer
How idiotic is this? Many asthmatics and other people with chronic lung conditions rely on these inexpensive and easy to obtain drugs to stave off an asthma attack and to open their bronchial passages.
This smells of big pharma pressure to ensure that only expensive prescription drugs will be available. To ban a life-saving and inexpensive medicine because of some theoretical and unproven risk to the ozone layer is absurd.
People are going to die because of this bonehead move. It just staggers my imagination that this should even be contemplated. As the article states, the poor and uninsured will be the primary victims of this ban.
The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Asthma-inhaler ban backed
Asthma sufferers may not be able to buy nonprescription inhalers much longer because the devices contain propellants that harm the ozone layer.
An advisory panel voted 11-7 Tuesday to recommend that the Food and Drug Administration remove the "essential use" status that Primatene Mist and other similar nonprescription inhalers require to be sold, spokeswoman Laura Alvey said. Final revocation of that status would mean a de facto ban on their sale.
The FDA usually follows the advice of its outside panels of experts, though a decision can take months. If the agency decides to follow the recommendation, it would begin a rulemaking process that would include public comment, Alvey said.
Wyeth Consumer Healthcare estimates that 3 million Americans use Primatene Mist for mild or intermittent cases of asthma, spokesman Fran Sullivan said. About two-thirds also use a prescription inhaler but rely on Primatene as a backup. About 700,000 asthma sufferers use Primatene alone because they can't get a prescription or lack health insurance, he said.