Monday, January 05, 2009

Wal-Mart Introduces Eco-Friendly Asthma Inhaler

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"The FDA outlawed the use of ozone-damaging CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) in inhalers beginning in 2009, so many manufacturers are switching to the less injurious HFA (hydrofluoroalkane) instead. While HFA inhalers are generally comparable in performance to those that include CFCs, they also tend to be somewhat more expensive, with prices between $30 and $60. This can be a problem for people on limited and fixed incomes—and as it happens, asthma tends to occur more frequently in that very group.

This is where Wal-Mart comes in. The ReliOn(R) Ventolin HFA inhaler, which will be sold exclusively by the retail giant, is priced at $9.95, bringing it within reach of many suffering asmathics.


savecfcinhalers said...
This morally despicable forced change of medication is making thousands upon thousands of asthma sufferers sick.

See their explanations of what is going wrong at these two links:

Fight back and hold those responsible for this travesty accountable.
The National Campaign to Save CFC Asthma Inhalers

dr droock said...

Here's the text from the petition at


In a dangerous overreaction to the problem of stratospheric ozone depletion, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol and The United States (through the Clean Air Act, the EPA, and the FDA) have decided to ban lifesaving chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) propellant metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) that are relied upon by 40 million U.S. pulmonary patients, even though the trivial amount of CFC emissions from MDIs does not threaten the ozone layer.

We applaud the Parties to the Montreal Protocol for their historic accomplishment of reducing global CFC emissions from peak levels of 1.2 million tons/year in 1987 to less than 50,000 tons/year today. It is encouraging to see that atmospheric concentrations of CFCs have been in a clear downward trend since 1994, at a time when global CFC emissions were considerably higher than they are today (LINK 31, p.8). It is also reassuring to know that ozone concentrations in a key region of the stratosphere have held steady since 1997, after years of decline, according to two independent studies. (LINK 33).

The amount of CFCs required for the world's pulmonary patients peaked at less than 10,000 tons (including U.S. use) per year in 1997 (less than 1% of the peak global 1987 CFC emissions for all industrial uses). U.S. CFC MDI use peaked at 2,645 tons/year in 1999. (LINK 33, p.36) These amounts are trivial and harmless.

However, rather than simply creating a permanent medical exemption for this tiny amount of CFC for the world's pulmonary patients, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol just assumed that an alternative 'ozone-friendly' medical propellant equal in safety to CFCs would one day emerge, and so they decided to completely eliminate CFC MDIs once the new propellant, HFA, was settled on, and HFA MDIs became available.

Unfortunately, HFA MDIs have turned out to be grossly inferior in safety and efficacy to CFC MDIs for many pulmonary patients, FDA propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding.

dr droock said...

oops..I meant to say this was Part of the petition. The balance is at the link.