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October 18, 2011

Senator: Halt Ban on Over-Counter Asthma Inhaler

HFA prescription inhalers are three or more times expensive than the prior generic CFC inhalers and many asthma sufferers cannot afford them. Until they get a generic HFA inhaler on the market the cost may be prohibitive.

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DeMint Tries to Halt Ban on Over-the-Counter Asthma Inhaler

Sen. Jim DeMint is trying to stop the federal government from banning a popular over-the-counter asthma inhaler, introducing an amendment that would yank funding for the ban set to go into effect in January.

The Food and Drug Administration rule would take off the shelves the epinephrine asthma inhaler known as Primatene Mist. The product is currently the only FDA-approved over-the-counter inhaler and is being banned because it uses something called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a propellant -- the substance is considered harmful to the ozone layer. 

In lieu of Primatene Mist, the FDA has suggested users of the product get a prescription for sanctioned inhalers, such as those that use an "environmentally friendly" propellant known as HFA. 

A group called the National Campaign to Save CFC Asthma Inhalers has also complained that some people will end up finding out they need a prescription in the middle of an attack, adding that many asthma sufferers prefer Primatene Mist to other products


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