Thursday, October 9, 2008

As if being asthmatic isn't hard enough already....

My cousin SarahD a petition request to the family. To me it seems like a case of a lack of flexibility in matters that have a direct effect on human health and safety. The issue at hand is the banning of Metered-Dose Inhalers (MDIs) that contain ozone depleting propellants.

More infomation may be found at this FDA link: http://www.fda.gov/cder/mdi/

Here is the text of Sarah's message:

"Now the gov't and drug co's have added another layer of fun to it!! Katie and I both have asthma, and barb mentioned that Jim P does too. I'm interested to find out anyone else's experience with this. Let me preface by saying that I love the environment and do not want there to be a whole in the ozone layer. HOWEVER, i am very bothered by this....
Ok, so up until recently albuterol inhalers have been made with CFC as the propellant that pushes the medicine out and into your lungs when you push down on the canister (makes the "puff" if you will). The CFC kind of inhalers have been discontinued as of 12/31/08 (because as we know, CFC's are bad for the ozone), and have been replaced with inhalers that deliver hte same medicine with HFA as the propellant. I found this out at the pharmacy the other day and was NOT happy. I have used the same type of inhaler all my life and it is waht allows me to have a quality of life equal to someone who doesn't have asthma. It allows to me be as athletic as i am - which is a big thing for me. I'm afraid this switch will impact that.
These are the main problems i have with the switch:
1) NO MORE GENERICS - CFC inhalers have been around long enough for drug co's patents to expire, allowing generics to be on the market. HFA inhalers are new and have new patents so there won't be generics on the market anytime soon. In my case, I'll go from paying $15 per inhaler (roughly per month) to $30 or more. This is mostly an annoyance for me, but what about inner cities where asthma in children is so concentrated and families can barely afford the generic! :(
2) EFFECTIVENESS - I tried the HFA inhaler the other day before runnign and had to stop mid-run to use it again because my chest was feeling tight. I had to slow my pace way down for several minutes as i waited for the medicine to do it's job. With the old inhaler i used it before running and could run for a long time without any discomfort. This is really frustrating and disheartening to me because I'm training for a marathon...I better save the remainder of my last old inhaler for race day!
3) THIS:
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/health/hfa_inhalers.html
I'm not sure if this will have any impact - I mean, if CFC's are banned, they're banned. But it's at least worth a shot. Please sign the petition below if you see fit.
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveCFCinhalers/
Thanks! Sarah "
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