Thanks to new “FDA” regulations some kinds of asthma inhalers will be “discontinued” over the next few years and the last remaining over the counter asthma inhaler will be taken off the shelves at the end of 2011. This is not only a political favor to misanthropic environmental groups, it is yet another state privilege granted to the prescription drug industry and American Medical Association (AMA) certified doctors. As we would expect with such regulations they will hurt the poor the most. But the welfare of the poor has never been of particular concern to those in the environmental movement, which mainly consists of elitist white people. Nor has it been a driving concern of the AMA, which drives up the cost of medical care putting it out of reach of many poor people.
The Primatene Mist inhaler is supposedly being eliminated from the market in order to protect the ozone layer from depletion. The inhaler uses aerosol propellants that emit chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere when it is actuated. It is theorized that CFCs deplete the ozone layer thus exposing organisms on earth to harmful UV radiation from the sun. There is of course debate and dissent on this theory. A recent article in Nature highlights some scientists who have cast doubt on earlier pronouncements that there is a definite link between human production of CFCs and ozone depletion.
The so-called “United States” signed on to an international agreement known as the “Montreal Protocol” in 1987. The terms of the agreement went into force in 1989. The purpose of this protocol was supposedly to put into place some “safeguards” and “controls” on human production of CFCs, mainly through aerosol spray cans and the air-conditioning coolant freon. The recent “FDA” rules are intended to bring the “United States” fully into line with this protocol and eliminate the last vestiges of aerosol propellants left on the market. The “Montreal Protocol” is widely recognized as a major victory for environmentalists in pushing government policy. The success of the protocol has served as the inspiration for the recent attempts to create an international agreement on limiting carbon dioxide to combat so-called “climate change” or “global warming.”
Environmentalist inspired bans on industrial products have a grim history. The earlier ban on the insect repellent DDT resulted in millions of deaths from malaria. The deaths continue to this day. This ban will likely also result in many premature deaths and they will tend to be concentrated among the poor and vulnerable. Whether these bans are an honest attempt to preserve the environment or are actually intended to cause mass deaths among humans is irrelevant. These are the documented and predictable results of such bans, yet environmentalists defend the previous bans and push for more. Either way they exhibit an extraordinary callousness toward human life and dignity.
Many famous and powerful environmentalists have openly called for population control, including sterilization of the food and water supply. As “scientist” Paul Ehrlich famously wrote in his 1968 book The Population Bomb:
[T]he first task is population control at home. How do we go about it? Many of my colleagues feel that some sort of compulsory birth regulation would be necessary to achieve such control. One plan often mentioned involves the addition of temporary sterilants to water supplies or staple food. Doses of the antidote would be carefully rationed by the government to produce the desired population size.
Ehrlich is no incidental figure either. He is firmly entrenched in the establishment. Despite Ehrlich’s predictions proving to be consistently and disastrously wrong, his protege and co-author John P. Holdren was nominated science adviser to Barack Obama the so-called “President” of the “United States” in 2009. Holdren and Ehrlich co-authored a 1977 book entitled Ecoscience in which they advocate for population control and suggest a “Planetary Regime” to control and administer all natural resources. In their own horrifying words:
[I]t has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.
Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable…not only in the atmosphere and oceans, but in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes…The Regime might also be a logical central agency for regulating all international trade…The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits…the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.
So should we really be surprised when policies suggested and inspired by such people result in mass death? The banning of over the counter asthma inhalers will further serve this misanthropic agenda.
As an asthma sufferer myself that has used the Primatene Mist product, this ban hits particularly close to home for me. The Primatene Mist inhaler is the last available over the counter asthma remedy. It costs about 20 dollars and delivers 260 metered puffs of epinephrine to dilate the brochiols in the lungs that constrict during an asthma attack. It is a cheap and effective remedy that is readily available to anyone that suffers from asthma. Immediate relief from a sudden asthma attack can mean someone’s life. There are 4000 deaths from asthma attacks each year in the US. We can expect this number to increase with the ban.
Because it is inexpensive and readily available most of the users of this product are poor. Asthma is concentrated among the urban poor since they tend to live in substandard housing and are exposed to more asthma inducing allergens like mold, dust and cockroaches. Many of these people also lack health insurance and cannot afford to see a doctor without it. They have no way of obtaining the more expensive and “environmentally safe” prescription products. These products cost about 40 dollars without insurance. So a person without insurance that needs an asthma inhaler will now need to pay around $150 for a doctor visit to get a prescription, and then $40 for the product itself. This is probably outside the means of many poor asthma sufferers. Their options will now be limited to going to the emergency room in case of attack. This is not only the most expensive way to treat asthma, the delay in getting there could cost a person’s life.
The requirement of a prescription to purchase an asthma inhaler, along with the “FDA” regulations and patents that restrict the production of such inhalers are ridiculous. They are nothing more than yet another state subsidy to the medical/industrial complex. The purpose — as always with such things– is to limit the supply of medical goods and services and drive up their price. They are blatant handouts to AMA certified doctors, the big pharmaceutical corporations and the overqualified check-out clerks and pill-counters known as “pharmacists.”
Why should a prescription be required for this drug? A person with asthma can easily purchase the inhaler they need on their own. Doing so would not stop them from seeing a doctor should they wish to learn about the newest treatments, although such information could just as easily be passed along by a pharmacist. Asthma can easily and effectively be treated by the individual themselves after an initial visit to a doctor. The rules and regulations that prevent a person from doing so are directly harmful to their well being. I know how to treat my own asthma. There is no reason to force me to incur the expense of seeing doctor every three months for a check-up and to obtain a new script. Such visits last an average of 30 seconds and cost around $150. Often times a patient is not even seen by the doctor. A nurse delivers the prescription while the doctor does more important things. This entire process is costly, unnecessary and out of reach for many people with low incomes.
I have long since opted out of this process and instead order my medications from an overseas pharmacy. This will likely become illegal in the near future. As you would expect it is the AMA that is behind the lobbying efforts to make such purchases illegal. Why then should I believe that the AMA is interested in my health and well being?
The regulation and banning of these products is a team-up between powerful interest groups to screw the consumer and serve their own ideological and financial interests. And of course those that suffer the most will be the poor.