Friday, January 2, 2009

Wiener of the Month - December

The WotM for December has a much more personal than usual twist to it. It seems that Big Enviro has struck again in their never-ending quest to rid the planet of pesky humans.

Vin Suprynowicz reports.

As usual, it was initially reported as unmitigated “happy news.”

“Your Metered-Dose Inhaler is Changing to Help Improve the Environment,” is how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration chooses to present word that the inhalers used by those who suffer from asthma and other respiratory ailments are being pulled from the shelves as of Jan. 1.

Back in 1987, representatives of the federal government signed the “Montreal Protocol,” in which 27 major industrialized nations agreed to halve their use of chlorofluorocarbon gases, which some believe could damage the earth’s ozone layer.

Real-world experiments to prove the theory have been in short supply — it’s hard to imagine how one would be devised, since it would first have to be shown how chlorofluorocarbons, which tend to be heavier than air, could reach the ozone layer in the first place.

Nor did the Montreal deal actually call for banning the propellant from the inhalers, since that use represents only about 1.5 percent of all CFC uses (it was less than 1.0 percent at the time), and signatory nations get to choose what uses to change. (Car air conditioning systems were the first use targeted — Greens hate cars — whereas the Environmental Protection Agency saw no immediate need to go after document-preservation sprays, foam insulation for coaxial cable, or CFC-based fire extinguishers.)

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled the switch would be mandatory as soon as a viable replacement could be marketed.
Reports show that the new drug is much more expensive than current remedies, some of which are available over-the-counter, bringing the cost from around $8 per inhaler to $40 or more.

Vin continues.
Meantime, multiple studies have shown that raising costs leads to poorer adherence to treatment; one study found that patients took 30 percent less anti-asthma medication, for instance, when their co-pay doubled. There are also concerns about patients getting proper instruction on use of the new inhalers, which need to be primed more often than the old models, and which also tend to clog and need to be cleaned more often.
So why is this personal to me? Because I'm an asthma sufferer, and have been since I was a small child. I know the panic of not being able to breathe, of struggling to get air down into swollen, laboring lungs. To think that Gaia is more important than a child whose only desire is that next breath is abhorrent to me! I can only wish the most horrible kind of death on people who put the vanity of "saving the planet" ahead of the terrifying plight facing many poor children in the year ahead. Die, all of you.

You're the Wiener of the Month for December.