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Asthmatics Remain Huffy with Obama Administration

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Asthma sufferers in the United States have become a casualty of the EPA’s war on emissions. Many used to rely on the Primatene Mist asthma inhaler for emergency relief from an asthma attack, but the product emits chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which, according to the UN, are a major contributor to Ozone Depletion. In an attempt to satisfy the UN’s Montreal Protocol, which calls for industrialized nations to drastically reduce CFC emissions, the EPA and FDA took the Primatene Mist inhaler off of the market.

From the FDA.gov website:

Why No More Primatene Mist?

Primatene Mist inhalers use CFCs, which decrease 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 many other countries have signed an international agreement to phase out CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances.

Despite pleas from members of Congress and attempts at legislative action, the CFC inhaler ban remains in effect. Primatene has applied for approval from the FDA on comparable products which transmit the treatment without the use of CFCs, but the request was rejected earlier this year for reasons not related to the environment.

In response to the product rejection notice, one commenter asks,

“Did you jerks take this vote with a tractor on your chest and the only way to remove it is with a primatene inhaler? Try it that way and feel like a real asthmatic wishing they could have their inhaler back. Live your own lives and let me have the choice of my own decisions of medication.”

The closest over-the-counter replacement to hit the market in the years since Primatene’s removal is Nephron’s Asthmanefrin, a device which emits vapors of racepinephrine without the use of CFCs. Having just paid $56.99 for my “environmentally safe” asthma relief kit, I felt compelled to see what other users had to say about the product. In the comments section of a Youtube video overview of the Asthmanefrin kit, asthmatics continue to communicate their displeasure over the loss of their former OTC treatment. Here are a handful of comments from the video:

“Politicians want us to believe these old inhalers were ripped off the market “for environmental purposes” which is complete hogwash! […]  Sorry the tiny bit of propellent escaping into the air isn’t going to change our environment! Medical equipment should be completely off limits but nothing will stop these environmentalist wackos”

“I also have bought multitudes of these small machines, only to have them fail on me too in just a few weeks.. total piece of sheepdung! They are not nearly as affordable as our Primatene was either! I had been using Primatene for 30 YEARS with no complaints, sometimes one bottle would last me a YEAR… 2.oz bottle with ? (how much could it possibly hold) CFC’s DAMAGING THE OZONE ?… REALLY!!!??  I can only assume, like a couple of previous posters here, that the industry found a way to blackball Primatene to line their pockets, by bribing some politicians!!”

“[…] I haven’t needed an inhaler on a regular basis for 35 years, and for the few times I did, I used Primatene Mist. Now, Obama signed off on the “total quantity of propellant from all those inhaler’s” being released into the atmosphere (our lungs) and determined this to be an environmental concern AND there’s also an “addictive element” in the mist itself, so it’s not healthy to use it. They tell me the Primatene Tablets contain the same addictive element and they will be taken off the market soon too. BTW, the Tabs work really well after about 15 min. But, I gotta say, I’ve never felt a compulsion to do some Primatene. What are you (talking) about Mr. President?? Since you took office my health care, everyone’s health care has been your favorite subject. Gimme back my Primatene and stay out of America’s Medicine.”

“I”m on my second machine! It is SO SCARY when you can’t breathe!!! If it weren’t for those LOBBYIST, LUNATIC ENVIRONMENTALISTS & THE (BAST****) IN CONGRESS THAT DECIDE TO SELL US ALL OUT, we wouldn’t be having this problem!!! Hey, I’m all for protecting the planet we have to live on but come on people! I can’t afford insurance, medical bills, rxs, or being forced to buy the NOT-SO-EZ Breathe atomizer over & over if I’m struggling to pay for food, utilities, and a roof over my family’s head.”

“My asthmanephrin machine worked for 3 weeks, then wouldnt put out any vapor…Im pissed off…I miss primetene mist, and it is total (bulls***) that it damaged the ozone layer 20 miles up..”

“If you call, they will send you a new one with a pack to send the old one back, however I have done this 5 times, they don’t give me trouble, but it does seem like the motor burns out. Bring back Primatene”

“Biggest piece of (s***) I have ever unwillingly been forced to buy in my entire life. I hope the idiots that banned Primatene suffer as much at night and can’t sleep like me. Of course, the people that make the rules don’t have to live with the results like the rest of us. We all know that. What is wrong with this country. Do you suppose we could get what we need from the black market in communist Russia? Worth a shot.”

“Zack, could you please make a video on how to clean the danged contraption? What a pain in the (a**) this debacle is. Ban a perfectly good product on the market for 46 yrs, with no replacement approved, and then this stupid thing comes out. Batteries, not portable, demands cleaning with distilled water and vinegar? Everyone should vote on this; the bill’s been reintroduced before Congress to release the warehouse full of perfectly good but banned PM. Go to popvox, search for H.R. 1220.”

“Remember who tried to keep Primatene Mist on the market – the Tea Party! Everyone likes to bash the Tea Party but it was Tea Party republicans in congress who tried to overturn this ban – look it up.”

“Primatene however kept their old propellent inhalers on the market for a couple years after the prescription inhalers made the change so I made the switch to Primatene because it was so much cheaper, I could buy them on the base for as little as $12 before the government enforced them being ripped off the market!”

“What we really need to do is start holding our politicians accountable for removing the perfect inhaler design off the market! When I was younger and between jobs I was left without health insurance for a few months, luckily my inhaler only cost $6 out of pocket. Now with insurance the same exact medication with the new propellant costs me $40 with my insurance coverage ($60 without).”

“For those who have units that stopped working–you can go to the Nephron website, or call the number on your package, and report what happened. They should replace the unit for you and send it by express mail. The real question is, why is this product still on the market? Every Asthmanefrin unit I’ve bought has failed after a month or two. Primatene Inhalers worked for 50 years and they need to be available again now.”

A facebook advocacy page launched over two and a half years ago as a citizen-driven effort to lift the ban on Primatene Mist is still active with asthma sufferers holding out hope that their OTC treatment may one day return.

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