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Environmentalists have outlawed the best asthma inhalers!

Old 12-29-07, 12:10 PM
  #1  
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Environmentalists have outlawed the best asthma inhalers!

This is the result of the mindset that says that we have to protect the environment "regardless of the cost."

Banning these chemcials is a good idea, but only when there's a reasonable replacement.

Furthermore, the amount of these chemicals that's used in asthma inhalers is insignificant.

Radical environmentalists (but not the more reasonable ones) do not understand the concept of "diminishing returns." Reducing the use of this chemical by 99% may make perfect sense. But stopping that last 1% is a bad idea, and this is a great example why.


http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07363/845241-110.stm

By SHAWN PIRRUNG

December 29, 2007

This is the problem with the politicians, and especially those who are so worried about the environment: They forget what and who is important -- people. The reason I say this is because of what has happened with prescription inhalers used for asthma treatment.

I recently needed to refill my inhaler and was told by the local pharmacist that the inhaler was now different because it contained ingredients that harmed the ozone layer. However, these ingredients were the most effective for helping calm down an asthma attack.

I was also informed by the pharmacy that since the medication was altered, it was not covered by my prescription coverage because it is now considered a new medication.

To make a long story short, I had a minor asthma attack and this new, altered inhaler did almost nothing to help. I then went to the emergency room and needed to receive a couple of breathing treatments to settle down my breathing. I then informed the ER doctor what inhaler I used and he actually began to laugh, saying, "It's crazy that the medication would be altered like this. Don't they know how many millions of people rely on inhalers for asthma relief?"

I was diagnosed as asthmatic when I was about 7 or 8 years old and have needed to use inhalers every day since. I ask you this: What happens to the elderly who rely on inhalers also and who are on fixed incomes? Will they receive the same rude awakening when they are advised that these asthmatic medications are now not covered by insurance because they supposedly harm the ozone layer?
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Old 12-29-07, 12:14 PM
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Old 12-29-07, 12:19 PM
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He hates the earth
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Old 12-29-07, 03:09 PM
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How can we blame environmentalists exclusively (as per title), when this law must have passed the legislature. The legislature was even more retarded for allowing this to pass.

I'd initiate a class action lawsuit against the environmentalist groups & the medical associations involved.

---- a few minutes later ----

Epinephrine is the drug used in NON-PRESCRIPTION inhalers along with CFC propellants which is banned.

The FDA even APPROVED the law in PA banning this drug in non-prescription inhalers. So, it looks like to me you have a situation where the professional organizations want you to get a prescription...meaning you're paying a shitload more money and increased healthcare costs.

Secondly, The American Lung Association agrees with the FDA on this. Here's Norman Edelman, head of the ALA:

this announcement..."highlights the need for all people with asthma and other lung diseases have access to regular medical care and life-saving medicines."
In other words, Norman wants you to NOT have a choice when choosing your medications. He wants to eliminate the OTC and instead, require you to have a doctor's prescription.

So, I'm gonna say this is actually less to do with environmentalists, and more to do with the medical industry wanting more cash from their customer.

Mr. SHAWN PIRRUNG who wrote in to comment needs to realize that the medical industry having a law pass through them without any resistance, is more difficult than sucking a bowling ball through a garden hose. The only way a law gets passed these guys, if the medical industry is giving that hose one hell of a fucking blow job.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 12-29-07 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 12-29-07, 03:32 PM
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I hope it's obvious to everyone that the original "article" is actually a letter to the editor. Here's an actual article on what's going on.

New asthma inhalers look the same but will cost you more

By Nancy Young
The Virginian-Pilot
December 18, 2007
The new generation of asthma inhalers are environmentally friendly and as effective as the older generation that used ozone-harming ingredients.

But there's a catch. The new inhalers cost roughly $30 to $50 in local pharmacies. The older style, which are increasingly hard to find, cost about $15.

Because the Earth-friendly inhalers are relatively new, there is no generic alternative for them, leaving insured patients with much higher copayments and the uninsured footing the whole bill.

"It has a significant impact," said Dr. Cynthia Kelly, director of the pediatric allergy and immunology department at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Norfolk.

Asthma, a chronic respiratory disease, disproportionately affects the poor. Nearly 15 percent of Virginians who have incomes of $15,000 or less have asthma, compared with 6 percent of those with incomes of more than $75,000, according to the state health department.

Most people with asthma are on "other medications as well," Kelly said. "They're already incurring significant costs."

Someone with moderate to severe asthma would typically go through six to eight such "rescue" inhalers in a year, said Kelly, who is co-director of Allies Against Asthma, a regional advocacy group for asthma patients based at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's regulation will ban the sale of the old-style inhalers because they contain chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, as a propellant. Commonly used in aerosols, CFCs have been linked to depleting the ozone layer, reducing protection against the sun's ultraviolet radiation. Most manufacturers stopped using them in products long ago, but until recently, an exception has been made for asthma inhalers.

The CFC-inhaler ban doesn't officially go into effect until Jan. 1, 2009, but most pharmaceutical manufacturers have stopped producing them, said Betsy Stoller, a spokeswoman for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

"We're in support of the transition" to hydrofluoroalkane, or HFA, inhalers, Stoller said. The problem has been that "patients were not aware the transition was occurring."

Stoller said doctors will write prescriptions for the new inhalers without telling their patients about the change. She said the complaints the foundation has heard have been not so much about the price, but about how the inhalers work. While they're just as effective clinically, "it does feel different and some patients say it feels weak."

Public awareness efforts about the transition are under way, including an American Lung Association public service announcement airing nationally in which the new inhalers trounce the "polluting inhalers of yesterday" in a professional wrestling match.

But CFC inhalers easily beat HFA inhalers on cost. The new inhalers enjoy patent protections, which mean their manufacturers have an exclusive right to make them and set prices. Typically, once patent protections run out, generic drug producers start making competing products and prices come down.

Kelly said there are prescription assistance programs for people who qualify and some companies are offering coupons for a free sample, "but that's only for one inhaler."

Kelly said her patients are finding it harder to locate CFC inhalers.

"They often call back when they can't get the old alternative," Kelly said. "They have to do their shopping around."

Pharmacist Lawrence Barlow said he is "down to one company that still makes" CFC inhalers, but he has been able to meet the demand of his customers. Barlow owns the independent Irwin's Pharmacy in Chesapeake. "The old ones are less expensive, and people are still asking for them," he said.

Customers who have insurance that covers the cost of HFA inhalers have generally made the transition, he added.

In anticipation of the change, Norfolk-based Optima Health Insurance Co. moved one of the HFA inhalers to its "preferred" brand-name drug tier that requires a copay of $20 to $30 rather than the $50 or more for drugs on higher tiers, said Deno Sebastian, director of pharmacy for the insurer. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia also has the new inhalers on their "preferred" brand tier, said spokesman Scott Golden.

The new inhalers probably will have to be made generically before they can move to the least expensive tier of drug co-pays - typically $5 or $10, depending on the insurance plan. Current HFA inhalers most likely won't lose patent protection until the next decade.

Generic status doesn't affect just insurance copayments; out-of-pocket-costs for the uninsured also are much lower. Kelly said the new inhalers' cost may prompt some patients to decide to try to do without them, putting them at risk when they have an asthma attack, which, in turn, can lead to more costly emergency room visits.

"I'm sure they're out there," Kelly said. "They don't necessarily let their doctor know that."
http://hamptonroads.com/2007/12/new-...-cost-you-more
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Old 12-29-07, 03:44 PM
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That's going to hurt. My wife uses these, and I think we pay 4 bucks and change for 3 of them (~90 days worth, generics, copay). So for that extra 1% of "saving" the environment, I am now forced to pay triple that or possibly much more. I think hers are albuterol sulfate or something, the epinephrine is in the OTC ones and the epipens.

Apart from this line "the inhaler was now different because it contained ingredients that harmed the ozone layer. However, these ingredients were the most effective for helping calm down an asthma attack" I don't see anything mutually exclusive between the article and the letter. I do see meddlesome environmentalists and politicians imposing their will on people, including The Poor, the very people most politicians claim to try to help, in order to cause a very-low-return "feelgood" benefit.
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Old 12-29-07, 04:33 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
How can we blame environmentalists exclusively
OK. So there were other people who were involved also. Thanks for the explanation.
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Old 12-29-07, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
I hope it's obvious to everyone that the original "article" is actually a letter to the editor.

I knew that!
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Old 12-29-07, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
OK. So there were other people who were involved also. Thanks for the explanation.
Well, yes, an explanation is appreciated.
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Old 12-29-07, 08:03 PM
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OK here is my take (has flame suit on)

IF it is indeed a fact that the old inhaler hurt the ozone layer,
IF it is indeed a fact that hurting the ozone layer hurts everyone,

Then, I'm glad they forced the change. I feel bad for the OP others that were using these. However, laws are put in place to protect ALL people, not a few. So unfortunately, this law will effect a few to the benefit to the many. At least until an effective replacement is developed. And I agree it would have been nice if a replacement was available before they made the change.

Now if these do not harm the ozone or a hurt ozone does not effect people, then I would agree it was a bad thing to do.
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Old 12-29-07, 09:31 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
OK here is my take (has flame suit on)

IF it is indeed a fact that the old inhaler hurt the ozone layer,
IF it is indeed a fact that hurting the ozone layer hurts everyone,

Then, I'm glad they forced the change. I feel bad for the OP others that were using these. However, laws are put in place to protect ALL people, not a few. So unfortunately, this law will effect a few to the benefit to the many. At least until an effective replacement is developed. And I agree it would have been nice if a replacement was available before they made the change.

Now if these do not harm the ozone or a hurt ozone does not effect people, then I would agree it was a bad thing to do.

Asthma inhalers account for maybe 0.000001% of the chemicals that hurt the ozone layer. I'm not flaming you. But I did explain this in my original post. There's no logical reason to prevent asthma inhalers from using this chemcial. This policy causes harm that greatly outweighs any good that it might cause.
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Old 12-29-07, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
Asthma inhalers account for maybe 0.000001% of the chemicals that hurt the ozone layer. I'm not flaming you. But I did explain this in my original post. There's no logical reason to prevent asthma inhalers from using this chemcial. This policy causes harm that greatly outweighs any good that it might cause.
Say the words "cost-benefit analysis" to an extreme environmentalist and this is what you'll get:

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Old 12-29-07, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle
Asthma inhalers account for maybe 0.000001% of the chemicals that hurt the ozone layer. I'm not flaming you. But I did explain this in my original post. There's no logical reason to prevent asthma inhalers from using this chemcial. This policy causes harm that greatly outweighs any good that it might cause.
Yup and as I said...if it does in fact not hurt the ozone, then they should not have done it.

I don't know what to say if it it does hurt it but is only a small %. At what point is it ok to ban it? When it the cause of 1% of the damage? 10% of the damage? 50%? Tho I totally agree, you should go after the big impact stuff first.
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Old 12-29-07, 10:45 PM
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This may be a good time to mention that the harm we are supposedly causing the ozone layer may be greatly exaggerated in the first place (Post #620).

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?p=8174212
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Old 12-30-07, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by movielib
Say the words "cost-benefit analysis" to an extreme environmentalist and this is what you'll get:

To an extreme environmentalist, isn't the cost always a bazillion dollars -- "If we don't go back to stone age technology, we'll all die!!!!"

I do have a problem with policies that are implemented wiht no regard for cost-benefit analysis. But I also have a problem with criticisms of policies that ignore negative externalities, tragedy-of-the-commons problems, and other market breakdowns. If the ephinidrine inhalers are harming the environment, then the people who buy them are affecting me since I am a user of the environment, and my ability to use the environment has been marginally diminished.

Here, it seems like the thing to do would have been to impose some sort of "ozone tax" so the people who buy the harmful inhalers are paying the cost of the damage they do to the environment (possibly with an eye toward phasing out the ephinedrine inhalers completely once the albuterol inhalers go generic).
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Old 12-30-07, 02:31 AM
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Why can't the Asthma People just charge their sinful deeds on their Al Gore CarbonCredit Card?
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Old 12-30-07, 03:16 AM
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I hear Tiger's paw is supposed to be good for you too.

Maybe we should just allow the asthmatic weaklings to decimate the the world's tiger population as well.

Just drink water, do exercise, and walk it off. Stop depending on drugs.

E
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Old 12-30-07, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by DeltaSigChi4
I hear Tiger's paw is supposed to be good for you too.

Maybe we should just allow the asthmatic weaklings to decimate the the world's tiger population as well.

Just drink water, do exercise, and walk it off. Stop depending on drugs.

E
Toughen up, asthmatics. You heard it here first.
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Old 12-30-07, 02:01 PM
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Now I have to go find other ways to harm the earth.
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Old 12-30-07, 02:11 PM
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We could always grind up the people with asthma and use them as tree fertilizer.
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Old 12-30-07, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave


Now I have to go find other ways to harm the earth.
trust me you're doing enough by slum lording
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Old 12-31-07, 08:57 AM
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I'm speculating here, but this is probably how it played out.

The the bulk manufacturers of CFCs are being shut down. Since the raw material is no longer available for manufacture of asthma inhalers, the drug companies had to come up with a new formulation. They had to spend the money on clinical trials and FDA approvals. It probably took several years. They used that as a reason to raise prices.

If the the bulk manufacturers of CFCs were only kept open to sell to the drug manufacturers, I doubt that they would charge the same for their chemicals. They would be facing a huge loss in sales volume. They might have to keep a whole plant running all year to create FDA-approved CFCs, but only sell a little bit of the stuff in a year. To make it worth the costs, they would have to dramatically raise their prices.
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Old 12-31-07, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Canadian Bacon
trust me you're doing enough by slum lording
HA! I'm helping. Don't do repairs which saves resources. Make sure that 4 people are living in 600 square feet, which helps their carbon footprint. Leave lead based paint on so it doesn't go into landfills. You should be kissing my green ass, sir!
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Old 12-31-07, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by DeltaSigChi4
Just drink water, do exercise, and walk it off. Stop depending on drugs.
Originally Posted by CaptainMarvel
Toughen up, asthmatics. You heard it here first.


Thanks, DeltaSigChi4! It makes it easier on me when people let me know that I can safely ignore any future opinions they may have.

By the way, the new inhalers suck. But when have human considerations ever bothered environmentalists?
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Old 12-31-07, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls
By the way, the new inhalers suck. But when have human considerations ever bothered environmentalists?
http://www.rightwingnews.com/quotes/wacko.php

The right to have children should be a marketable commodity, bought and traded by individuals but absolutely limited by the state. - Kenneth Boulding, originator of the "Spaceship Earth" concept (as quoted by William Tucker in Progress and Privilege, 1982)

We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion -- guilt-free at last! -- Stewart Brand (writing in the Whole Earth Catalogue

Free Enterprise really means rich people get richer. They have the freedom to exploit and psychologically rape their fellow human beings in the process . . . Capitalism is destroying the earth. -- Helen Caldicott, Union of Concerned Scientists

We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects . . . We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of tens of millions of acres of presently settled land. -- David Foreman, Earth First!

Everything we have developed over the last 100 years should be destroyed. -- Pentti Linkola

If you ask me, it'd be a little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it. We ought to be looking for energy sources that are adequate for our needs, but that won't give us the excesses of concentrated energy with which we could do mischief to the earth or to each other. -- Amory Lovins in The Mother Earth - Plowboy Interview, Nov/Dec 1977, p. 22

The only real good technology is no technology at all. Technology is taxation without representation, imposed by our elitist species (man) upon the rest of the natural world -- John Shuttleworth

What we've got to do in energy conservation is try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy. -- Timothy Wirth, former U.S. Senator (D-Colorado)

I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems. -- John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs. -- John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing....This is not to say that the rise of human civilization is insignificant, but there is no way of showing that it will be much help to the world in the long run. -- Economist editorial

We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity�s sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight -- David Foreman, Earth First!

Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental. -- Dave Forman, Founder of Earth First!

If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human populations back to sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS -- Earth First! Newsletter

Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planets...Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along. -- David Graber, biologist, National Park Service

The collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans. -- Dr. Reed F. Noss, The Wildlands Project

If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels. -- Prince Phillip, World Wildlife Fund

Cannibalism is a "radical but realistic solution to the problem of overpopulation." -- Lyall Watson, The Financial Times, 15 July 1995

We, in the green movement, aspire to a cultural model in which killing a forest will be considered more contemptible and more criminal than the sale of 6-year-old children to Asian brothels. -- Carl Amery

Every time you turn on an electric light, you are making another brainless baby -- Helen Caldicott, Union of Concerned Scientists

To feed a starving child is to exacerbate the world population problem -- Lamont Cole

If there is going to be electricity, I would like it to be decentralized, small, solar-powered -- Gar Smith -- editor of the Earth Island Institute's online magazine The Edge

The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States: We can't let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the U.S. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are. And it is important to the rest of the world to make sure that they don't suffer economically by virtue of our stopping them. -- Michael Oppenheimer, Environmental Defense Fund
Of course these quotes don't reflect the views of all environmentalists.

Last edited by movielib; 12-31-07 at 04:21 PM.
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