Popular asthma inhaler pulled due to environmental concerns

If you suffer from asthma and rely on the over-the-counter Primatene Mist inhaler for relief, you’re going to need to look for an alternative as the inhaler will no longer be available starting December 31.

The inhaler is being pulled because it contains CFCs – or chlorofluorocarbins, if you prefer – which are known to damage the Earth’s ozone layer. This violates the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that aims to put a stop to all substances found to be harmful to the ozone layer.

The push to phase out the Primatene Mist inhaler all started in 2006 when an FDA advisory panel determined that the inhaler didn’t serve an essential health need. Following that, the FDA kicked off plans in 2008 to remove the inhaler from market.

Many asthmatics turned to Primatene Mist as a cheaper, more convenient alternative to albuterol-based inhalers, such as Proventil and Ventolin, which can cost double or even triple the amount and require a prescription. Nevertheless, the FDA is urging asthma patients to get an albuterol prescription “as soon as possible”.

In a press release issued back in July, Primatene Mist manufacturer Armstrong Pharmaceuticals promised that a new Primatene Mist inhaler was in the works – sans CFCs, of course – but would in all likelihood not be available until some time after the December 31 deadline. Still, the company notes that they’re “committed to bringing the new product to market in the shortest time possible once the product is approved by the FDA.”

via FOX News