Albuterol inhalers like this one will soon be the only choice for asthmatics. Via Google Images
People who use Primatene Mist to control their asthama symptoms may want to build a stockpile of the over-the-counter medicine now or start looking for other treatments.
The FDA issued a reminder that the drug will no longer be available after Dec. 31 due to the fact that the inhaler it uses as a delivery system uses chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Those compounds have been shown to damage the ozone layer and are being banned as part of an international agreement, the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.
In 2006, an FDA advisory panel voted 11-7 that Primatene Mist , which was under scrutiny because of the CFC issue, didn’t serve an essential health need. The FDA said it set the phase-out date and notified the public in November 2008. The company (currently Amphaster, although it was Wyeth in 2006) has included information about Primatene Mist’s availability both on its website and product packaging. Wyeth said in 2006 that about 3 million people in the U.S. used Primatene Mist each year.
Dan Dischner, an Amphastar spokesman, says that the company’s subsidiary, Armstrong Pharmaceuticals, is currently in talks with the FDA about introducing a new version of the drug using a different propellant, but that won’t happen before the ban on the current drug kicks in. In the meantime, the FDA says there are many prescription choices for asthma, including albuterol inhalers.
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