SAN DIEGO, January 28, 2012 ―The pharmacist seemed sympathetic to my plight. Sadly, he explained that Primatene Mist (an over the counter inhaler for asthmatics) had been taken off the market.
I was not surprised.
Certainly many doctors have warned people of Primatene’s potential side effects. Oddly enough, medical concerns had nothing to do with its removal. Instead the pharmacist started talking about Global Warming. Now, frankly, that politically charged phrase had never been a favorite subject of mine anyway.
But today, the word cries out for boo’s and hisses.
In denial, I jumped on the internet, hoping against hope that the pharmacist had somehow been mistaken. Instead I found an AP article from late 2011.
“Asthma patients who rely on over-the-counter inhalers will need to switch to prescription-only alternatives as part of the federal government’s latest attempt to protect the Earth’s atmosphere.”
“The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday patients who use the epinephrine inhalers to treat mild asthma will need to switch by Dec. 31 to other types that do not contain chlorofluorocarbons, an aerosol substance once found in a variety of spray products.”
“The action is part of an agreement signed by the U.S. and other nations to stop using substances that deplete the ozone layer, a region in the atmosphere that helps block harmful ultraviolet rays from the Sun.”
“But the switch to a greener inhaler will cost consumers more. Epinephrine inhalers are available via online retailers for around $20, whereas the alternatives, which contain the drug albuterol, range from $30 to $60” (Associated Press, 9-22-11).
Ironically, many of the same people concerned about Global Warming also insist on our need to have “affordable health care for all.” In that vein, one wonders how many individuals have been breathing more easily without the time and expense of doctor visits due to a convenient over the counter alternative.
How many have avoided emergency room visits where patients pitch a tent in the lobby and light a Coleman lantern before finally getting treated? How many lives have been saved?
Oh well! No matter! After all, why be concerned about a human life or two when we have an entire planet to save?
What’s next? We can probably expect more lunacy on the horizon (warmed as the horizon may be.) Will the day come when all hairspray is banned? How about deodorant? Some types are banned already. If they ban even more, levels of ozone threatening B.O. will also have to be monitored.
If only we’d ban Al Gore’s jet on which he travels the world to give Global Warming lectures.
Certainly that’s one massive carbon footprint he’s leaving, but not nearly as large as the one which emanates from the hot air of his loud speeches. On the other hand, movement of Gore’s non-stop vocal chords may be an alternative source of energy that could power the entire state of Tennessee.
It’s doubtful that good ol’ Al ever thought proclamations such as “the debate is over” would eventually morph into the kind of situation that jeopardizes lives. But then, lack of genuine thought might be the real problem here in the first place.
Scientists continue to debate this subject while our government pushes ahead with laws in the fine tradition of Chicken Little, whose soothsaying about a falling sky accomplished little more than the bones of his friends being spit out by Foxy Loxy.
This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious, obvious.
Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and columnist. Details of his show can be found at www.bobsiegel.net
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