The Food and Drug Administration has banned the only over-the-counter asthma inhaler, Primatene Mist, on the grounds that it releases chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and is thus bad for the ozone layer. [Chris Horner, Big Government via Alkon; Washington Post](& welcome Above the Law readers)

More from @larkinrule: “I was alone at my family cabin had an asthma attack and no inhaler. The corner store had one left. I believe it saved my life.”


  • Another way of presenting the same facts:

    2008: Big Government tells makers of inhalers to stop using CFC’s in delivery systems.

    2008-2011: Various makers of inhalers independently run cost/benefit analyses of migrating delivery systems to use HFA’s. Many go forward with and subsequently complete that conversion.

    Present Day: No HFA version of Primatene Mist is currently available; CFC version of Primatene Mist to become unavailable per 2008 schedule. FDA puts up web page saying so.

    Harder to get outraged in that case.

  • jared, if the outrage is that the maker of Primatene Mist loses some sales, then you’re right. But I doubt that’s the source of much outrage.

  • Ask any user of an inhaler. The non CFC versions are much less effective at delivering the medication.

  • Hardly surprising; the FDA has been trying for years to find a way to ban over-the-counter medications that were “grandfathered” into legality rather than actually being reviewed.

    Why, if you sell those things over-the-counter, then ANYONE can buy them. ANYONE can use them. Dammit, we’re DOCTORS, we went to school for YEARS to learn how to prescribe medications! Why let those stinky stupid patients determine what they need? They don’t DESERVE that authority!

  • What did those poor strawpeople ever do to you? I suppose next we’ll hear that acid rain is healthy for trees.

  • That’s after the FDA has banned the best, cheapest, most available prescription asthma inhaler on December 31, 2008—the albuterol inhaler that used to cost $4 at every neighborhood and chain pharmacy in America. In addition to being the most effective medication, it was cheap. The albuterol with the CFC propellant was no longer subject to patent protection. The new albuterol inhalers with non-CFC propellants are now “new” medicines and subject to new patents.

    From $4 a month to $65 per month for a decades old medicine that people need to survive. It is a scandal.

    DIAF, FDA.