Friday, April 11, 2008

CFC-Free Inhalers Don't Work.

The FDA has banned asthma inhalers that contain CFCs because, obviously, the hole in the ozone layer was caused by rampant use of asthma rescue inhalers and has nothing to do with industry or anything big like that. So now millions of asthmatics have been forced to change inhalers to the CFC-free variety -- which cost twice as much and simply don’t work as well.

There are over 22 million asthmatics in the country, and asthma is a disease that hits the poor – especially poor children – especially hard. Also, 47 million Americans don’t have insurance – and people with chronic health problems such as asthma are more likely to be uninsured. So now, instead of about $20 per inhaler out-of-pocket, poor and uninsured people will pay about $40 out-of-pocket.

Twice as much, for a product that consumers are reporting doesn’t work as well. Several websites discuss the ineffectiveness of the new inhalers, and people around the country have posted the same problems with the new inhalers.

This has been my experience, too. I use the new inhaler (a ProAir HFA), hold my breath, breathe out, and wait. I wait about five minutes, and 9 times out of 10, I need another “puff.” With the old inhaler, I generally only needed one puff. With the new ones, I’m using one to three puffs. Yes, I know how to “correctly” use an inhaler; yes, I have tried a “spacer” -- it didn’t help. So, essentially, we now have a rescue inhaler that doesn’t “rescue” you very well and costs twice as much.

I used the old-style inhaler for twenty-seven years and did fine with them. The one I carried in my purse would last 3 to 4 months. The one around the house would last about six weeks (I’m still looking for an asthma preventative that really works). Now? I go through both inhalers in a month or less.

I’m also not buying that the ban was to “help the environment” since the FDA’s own website states that the ban ONLY affects albuterol rescue inhalers. If you use another kind of medication to stop your asthma attacks, there’s been no change. It's also generally agreed that CFC inhalers are not an environmental concern!

If I were a cynic, I'd say that the problem is that albuterol inhalers have been generic for a long time, and pharma needed to make some cash off them, and this was a convenient way to do so under the benign guise of "helping the environment." But that would be wrong.

Asthmatics were forced into these inhalers by the government, and are paying for them out of our pockets and with a reduced ability to stop an asthma attack. Why are more of us not complaining? It’s our LUNGS, people! This shit could kill you!

Asthma inhalers didn't cause the hole in the ozone layer any more than disposable contact lenses caused the landfill problems. Frankly, we are being forced to use a product that doesn’t work, and it’s negatively affecting our health. Demand that industry bring back the rescue inhalers that WORK until the industry finds a solution that works and doesn’t cost twice as much to the consumers.

This petition is to help bring back the old CFC inhalers that we’ve all used for so long. Please, sign it, and help out. If you feel really emphatic, contact your congresscritter as well. And to really, really help, complain to the FDA about the new inhalers at the FDA's website!


  1. Does the failed scripting represent wheezing?

    a. ;)

  2. my name is kirsty, i live in england.I have the same problem since using CFC-Free inhalers my asthma has got increasingly worse so much so i have had to have steroids to get my asthma under control, but its still not the same the CFC-Free inhalers do not work!!

  3. I thought it was jut me! I use this thing constantly. I wake up in the middle of the night and it takes a good 15 minutes for this "rescue" inhaler to kick in. I've been taking 3-4 puffs at a time. Like you I could get by on one of the old inhalers. This is ridiculous! I've gone through two of these inhaler in the past month and a half.

  4. So I just ordered FOUR generic albuterol inhalers online from a pharmacy in Mexico. You can still get them. I highly recommend checking it out.

  5. Please visit our website to sign the petition to ammend the clean air act and permanently legalize cfc inhalers.

    we have started to get some press on this epidemic. check out the articles here:
    and here:

  6. Hi
    I have used the old type inhaler from about 1978. I am now 48.
    This new CFC free inhaer totaly bugs my lungs.
    I do not like it one bit ! I am sure it is making me ill. I ask my Dr for the old type and she told me you can't get them anymore.

    What the hell are you ment to do ??

  7. OK this is the weekend and I have the new inhaler. Today it isn't delivering medication after only 40puffs since purchase. No place to get something today in this rural area. This new stuff costs more, is less effective and runs out of delivery power way too quick. I am outraged. And as a scientist I know the Ozone layer won't benefit one iota from this recent change.

  8. Yes. I have had asthma for 45 yrs and this is no rescue inhaler. Even controlled a true asthmatic does need to rely on a rescue inhaler in case of attack that can be brought on by many reasons. This thing is crap! We have been duped and I will do something about it. You cannot tell me that we were all puffing so much that it put a hole in the ozone or even contributed to it.. There are other worse things out there they should restrict and not someones ability to breath! Isn't it a right to breath? Its absurd.

  9. I had an attack the other night that lasted 3.5 hrs and 20 puffs . Had to use breathing machine . Screw the o-zone i'dont want to die

  10. this is getting ridiculous i was charged over ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY DOLLARS plus tax for my ventolin inhaler
    im just a college student and i just dont know how to live anymore

    havnt had a decent meal in days

  11. I live in the UK and I have the same promlems that are outlined above. Has anyone tried the Ventolin CFC free inhaler? Apparently it has a stronger spray than its counterparts. Am seeing my doc on Tuesday and will ask him to prescribe me one. Thank heavens we do not have to pay commercial rates for them! And the American people do not want a to emulate our National Health Service? I'll leave that one for another blog site!