At first glance, it seemed like asthma inhalers were going Green by changing out the CHC propulsion for the live-saving drug to a more atmosphere-friendly prompulsion agent. As it turns out, though, the biggest green in the whole thing is the dollars they’re now milking asthma sufferers and insurance companies for. The new propellant isn’t going to make that big of a difference in the environment, but does make the inhaler more prone to clogging.
The drug, called Albuterol helps asthma sufferers from suffering an attack which could be deadly. The medicine needs a propellant to work and, as of January 1, 2009, they’re going to be using a “more eco-friendly” chemical, HFA. The announcement was initially made because doctors wanted patients to expect a different taste and feel. University Health System physician Fred Campbell claims there is little resistance to the change, but it seems he’s not really paying attention.
The kicker? The new propellant raises the price from $5-10 to anywhere between $30-$60 each. That’s a pretty massive increase as it is. Now apply that to 20 million and you can see just how in the green the manufacturers are about to become. We’re all for things that are Going Green — but that Green is supposed to be going into the environment, not a drug company’s pockets.