This story struck me as a little over the top when I first heard about it. Actually I thought this particular medicine had already been pulled years ago due to related deaths using the product. Primatene mist along with a few others will be phased out because the propellent used in the products contain CFC's (chlorofluorocarbons) which are bad for the environment.

You will need a prescription soon for any asthma medicine. Many folks just use the over the counter medicines because they don't have insurance and the products are cheaper. The makers of the inhaler are working on a CFC free version of the medicine before years end.

Now I have several questions about this fiasco. First of all, the company has known that this phase out was coming for some time. So why haven't they been working to find a solution before the deadline got so close?
Second, if the prescription companies can provide inhalers (which I personally use) that are CFC free then why can't this company use the same technology? Third, is it really that big a deal that the government needs to get rid of a product that contributes less than 1% of these CFC's into the environment?

CFC's have long been an environmental concern, so much so that this debate dates back to 1987. Then during Bush's administration legislation was made into law to get rid of CFC's in hairsprays, pesticides and the like. Medications were allowed to continue there use for far longer.

The makers of Primatene were to begin the phase out last year but were given an extension because they thought they could find an alternative before years end this year. It can't be that hard if the prescription versions are CFC free.

There are also a couple of other over the counter inhalers other than Primatene that too will be affected by this phase out. No word as to what their plans will be. They are warning if you plan on stocking up on the inhaler to make sure you check the expiration dates to make sure they are still good when you use them.

Hopefully, soon a solution will be found and all will be normal and you can breathe a sigh of relief once again.