The FDA hates asthmatics

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For years if not decades if an asthmatic needed emergency relief they could use the over the counter inhaler Primatene Mist. Four years ago the FDA forced Primatene Mist off the market for the harm its CFC propellant was causing harm the ozone even though by environmentalist standards the actual damage was infinitesimal.

R.I.P.
R.I.P.

Then came along Asthmanefrin. While its atomizer was a piece of junk that constantly broke down it was at least an option of relief for asthmatics. That was until recently. Today I was having asthma issues and went to several pharmacies looking for the EZ Breathe Atomizer. All the stores I went to had the refills but not the atomizer. There wasn’t even a place on the shelves for it.

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I went to the Asthmanefrin website and all they had listed on there was the box of refills and no atomizer. How is anyone supposed to use the medication without the atomizer? Not to mention that there has been no mention about any kind of any discontinuation or recent recall anywhere.

I went to various asthma related websites and forums and all that anybody knew were vague rumors that the FDA had the atomizer quietly pulled off the market leaving asthmatics with no over the counter relief options. While I can not verify that it does make a lot of sense.

Prescription inhalers are very expensive and the pharmaceutical companies know that they have asthmatics over a barrel. We need to pay their exorbitant prices or else we won’t be able to, you know, breathe. So they can’t have any OTC alternatives, that in my opinion are more effective, cutting into their market share and the pharmaceutical cabal can have a strong lobbying presence influencing policy at the expense of suffering patients.

Meanwhile I’m still having trouble breathing.

Asthmanefrin: DO NOT BUY

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If you suffer from asthma and can’t afford a prescription inhaler you probably lament the loss of the Primatene Mist inhalers. So do I. If you go to your local pharmacy and see a product called Asthmanefrin, that is supposedly designed to replace Primatene, do yourself a favor, avoid it if at all possible.

Over the past couple of years I’ve purchased way too many of their starter kits that contains the inhalation solution and the EZ Breathe Atomizer.

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The reason I keep buying the starter kit is because the atomizer always stops working after about two weeks. Asthmanefrin will tell you that you have to clean it properly after each use for the atomizer to function properly. In my experience that doesn’t help. All the atomizers I’ve ever had no matter how I maintained them died after two weeks and once they die that’s it. You can’t get them working again. So to get a new one you have to buy the starter kit again which goes for $50 a pop and above. Still cheaper than prescription inhalers but less cost-effective if you’re having to buy a new one every two weeks.

Last year I worked for a pharmaceutical company and had access to industry news sources. At that time it was being reported that Primatene was on its way back to the market with a newly designed inhaler. As of the time I’m writing this it has not yet been brought to market. We can only hope it hits our store shelves soon.

Vaping technology could help asthmatics

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As I mentioned in my very first post about e-cigs I mentioned that my impetus for quitting smoking was that I suffer from asthma. I’ve had it since I was 20 but continued to smoke all that time anyway because I couldn’t break the habit.

To combat the asthma I would use inhalers. Prescription Albuterol for the most part but prescription inhalers are expensive as hell. Now I haven’t had health insurance in a number of years so instead of the prescription inhalers I turned to the then over the counter Primatene Mist. It worked great for me but in 2011 it was taken off the market for being ‘harmful to the ozone layer’. Never mind the people who can’t breathe without it but that’s a different rant. Another product came along called Asthmanefrin that was a battery-powered atomizer that worked for a couple of weeks until the atomizer completely failed every time. At $50 a pop it was less cost-effective than the prescription inhalers.

Fast forward to 2013 when I started using my first vaporizer. I Wondered to myself why can’t someone use a similar device to the vaporizer for asthma medication. Well, it turns out I wasn’t the only one thinking about that as one company is developing a vaporizer type mechanism that would be able to deliver metered doses of inhalable medication with no harm to the ozone. The bad news is it could run as high as $500. Speaking on my experience in healthcare, heath insurance companies are usually very slow in approving new medicines. They prefer to keep them classified as experimental for as long as possible.

However this is a start. This is a very minute light at the end of a very long dark tunnel.

Primatene Mist discontinued because it hurts the Earth

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I’ve had asthma since my early 20s. I was officially diagnosed with it by a medical professional about 10 years ago. I’ve been on a few medications for it. I had been prescribed Advair and Albuterol inhalers and Singulair pills. Even when I did have health insurance coverage the prescriptions could still run pretty high.

About a year ago during one of my many recent unemployed periods I couldn’t afford to get my Albuterol inhaler refilled but I was able to purchase an over the counter Primatene Mist inhaler. It was like an epinephrine epiphany. Not only does it work better than all three of my former prescriptions combined I don’t have to use it as often. While I was hitting my Albuterol inhaler several times a day I’m fortunate enough that I only use my Primatene inhaler once a day even if that. So not only does it work better at $14 at5 my local CVS it’s more cost effective.

So imagine my dismay when I heard on the Philly news radio station that Primatene was being discontinued by the FDA. Not because it doesn’t work or contains a potentially fatal ingredient, which it doesn’t, it’s being discontinued as of December 31st because it hurt’s the ozone layer

Primatene Mist inhalers are being discontinued because they use chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a propellant (spray) to move the medicine out of the inhaler so patients can breathe the medicine into their lungs. 

CFCs harm the environment by decreasing the earth’s ozone layer. This layer of the atmosphere protects us from some of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation, which can increase the risk of skin cancers and cataracts. The United States and most other countries have signed an international agreement to phase out CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances.

Really? Really FDA? You’re taking this off the market because of the fucking ozone layer? I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Primatene is the only over the counter asthma inhaler. Now people who have used Primatene with no problem will have to get a prescription inhaler that not only costs more but is less effective.

Besides how much ozone depletion could the tiny inhalers actually cause?  I mean who cares if people with asthma can’t breathe as long as were satiating our white liberal environmentalist guilt right?

Luckily according to the Primatene website they are working on an inhaler that does not use CFCs. If it doesn’t work as well as the current model I will personally deplete the ozone myself.

FDA probes allergy drug’s suicide link

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Now I’m sure some asthma sufferers are going to get all huffy and puffy over this. Pun intended by the way. But I’ve been on Singulair for years. As a matter of fact I even quit smoking while on Singulair and I have not had any suicidal thoughts.

I realize that this is anecdotal evidence from only one person but I’ll start listening to what the FDA says about drugs when they take actually dangerous drugs like Accutane and Ambien off the market.