Friday, September 23, 2011

can anyone help me understand this in a non-conspiratorial light?

Video - 80's commercial for Primatene Mist

WebMD | The Primatene Mist inhaler is going away on Dec. 31, and prescription inhalers are the only alternative to the over-the-counter asthma drug.

Don't wait to get that prescription. The FDA warns that Primatene supplies may not last until the end of the year.

"All inhalers that might substitute require a prescription," the FDA's Andrea Leonard-Segal, MD, said at a news teleconference. "So those who use Primatene need to take action now to see a health care provider to get a replacement product." Leonard-Segal is the director of the FDA's division of nonprescription clinical evaluation.

"The clock is ticking on Primatene Mist, the only over-the-counter asthma inhaler," FDA press officer Karen Riley said at the news conference.

The problem with Primatene is that it contains chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs, which deplete the Earth's ozone layer. Environmental treaties signed by the U.S. banned products that emit CFCs. Most of these products already are gone. But medicines got a special extension.

That extension has expired for Primatene. Sales must end at the end of the year. Although the manufacturer of Primatene promises to come up with a version propelled by a safer chemical, the company has not yet done so.

This means that users of Primatene, which has epinephrine as its active ingredient, must switch to drugs based on albuterol. And a prescription is needed for albuterol-based inhalers. These include Accuneb, ProAir, Proventil, Ventolin, and Vospire.

While albuterol is a safe and effective asthma drug, it is different from epinephrine.

"I think patients will feel a difference," Leonard-Segal said.

"One person may feel a certain drug works better for them, but all FDA-approved drugs work in the populations for which they are approved," Sally Seymour, MD, deputy director for safety in the FDA's division of pulmonary, allergy, and rheumatology products, said at the news conference.

One difference users may feel is the price. A replacement cartridge of Primatene Mist sells for about $18. The albuterol inhalers sell for about $45 and up. However, patients with health insurance that covers prescriptions, and those covered by Medicare and Medicaid, may actually pay less for the drugs.

The FDA is not at all clear about how many Primatene users there are. Their best estimate is that 2 million Americans purchase 4 million Primatene units each year.

Here's the FDA's advice to Primatene Mist users:
  • See a health care professional soon to get another medicine. Primatene Mist may be harder to find on store shelves even before Dec. 31, 2011.
  • Ask your health care professional to show you how to use your new inhaler or other medicine to make sure you are using it correctly and getting the right dose.
  • Follow the directions for using and cleaning your new inhaler or other medicine to make sure you get relief of your asthma symptoms.
  • If you haven’t used up your Primatene Mist by Dec. 31, it’s safe to continue using it as long as it hasn’t expired. Check the expiration date, which can be found on the product and its packaging.


umbrarchist said...

How many tons of CFCs come from Primatene Mist each year?

They don't have a non-CFC substitute by now?

CNu said...

something very fishy bout that CFC ruse, methinkst they're just absconding with po folks asthma inhalers and to hell with'em...,

arnach said...

There's no need to see conspiracy here.  What has probably happened is that no company has been able to make a business case for jumping through the regulatory hurdles required to put a non-CFC version of a non-pantentable drug (epinephrine) on to a market that is accustomed to Primatene Mist prices.  Since we do not have a public health system in this country, and should never, ever, consider growing Evil Big Government by actually putting people to work, you'll never see such a product you imagine should exist, even though that might save hundreds of millions of dollars for (and more lives than were lost in the nineleven terror attacks of) actual people.  On the other hand, if you agree to remove all Big Governement regulation, someone might see fit to develop something like this for the market.  Although in that case you are probably better off not using it.

CNu said...

I still see po folk respiration indefensibly taking a backseat to profit-oriented pharmaceutical conspiration...,

Johnboy64 said...

The entire basis for this ban is fraudulent.  There is no mankind-induced or mankind-augmented ozone hole.   See this website:  Therein you will read of the strenuous  efforts made by politically minded researchers and activists since the 70s to maintain their stream of government grant money, awards, publicity, etc.  Remember that this history of whoring for government cash  has now culminated in removal of a safe, OTC, readily available, highly effective, less costly remedy for inability to BREATHE.  Remember to observe serenely your blue-faced child struggling for breath as you ponder your role in patching up that pesky ozone hole after 12/31/11.

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