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Asthma Patients Will Soon Be Required To Get Prescription Inhalers

This underestimates the increased cost by a huge factor…

Remember how Obama recently waived new ozone regulations at the EPA because they were too costly? Well, it seems that the Obama administration would rather make people with Asthma cough up money than let them make a surely inconsequential contribution to depleting the ozone layer:

Asthma patients who rely on over-the-counter inhalers will need to switch to prescription-only alternatives as part of the federal government’s latest attempt to protect the Earth’s atmosphere.

…But the switch to a greener inhaler will cost consumers more. Epinephrine inhalers are available via online retailers for around $20, whereas the alternatives, which contain the drug albuterol, range from $30 to $60.via Obama Administration to Ban Asthma Inhalers Over Environmental Concerns.

I added the bold in the quote to show where the increased cost is coming from: these people (who were buying these old inhalers without a prescription) are now going to have to see someone with a prescription pad, pay for that visit, and then go buy the more expensive inhalers.

The FDA made the prescription inhaler manufacturers take out the CFC’s a few years ago, and the prices of those inhalers went up substantially.

For the record, I think all these inhalers should be OTC: they’re safe and effective. Off the top of my head, 90% of the meds on the WalMart $4 list should be OTC as well.

*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*


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2 Responses to “Asthma Patients Will Soon Be Required To Get Prescription Inhalers”

  1. I respectfully disagree with your opinion that short acting beta agonist inhalers should be OTC. Overuse of short-acting beta agonist inhalers can contribute to tachyphylaxis, and can actually worsen asthma control in patients with the Arg-Arg phenotype. The most important reason for requiring these rescue medicines to remain prescription-only is that it permits medical professionals to pick up patients with poor asthma control (who would have otherwise fallen through the cracks) and place them on appropriate controller therapy. We must see the forest for the trees. Adequate asthma control should be the goal, not easy access to cheap symptomatic relief. This is how we will reduce morbidity and overall healthcare expenditures from uncontrolled asthma.

  2. GruntDoc says:

    And while you make a good distinction for a very very small number of patients, this isn’t the case for the Vast Majority of people with reactive airways, who must now make, keep and pay for doctors visits. For an inhaler.

    There are people who have adverse reactions to every OTC med out there, that’s not an indication to pull them all.

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