FDA Cares About the Ozone Layer

Earth Day is coming up next week, and FDA has taken some extremely small steps toward protecting the ozone layer. The agency announced yesterday that it was phasing out seven asthma inhalers that contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFCs are organic compounds that have been shown to damage the Earth's ozone layer, which protects life from the sun's UV rays. The inhalers in question, which are listed below, use CFCs as propellants to spray medicine out. Four of the inhalers are no longer being manufactured (but are being banned to prevent them from returning to the market). Their sale will be forbidden after June 14, 2010. The remaining three will be banned after December 31, 2013.

Banned inhalers that are no longer being made (to be off the market by June 14):

  • Tilade Inhaler (King Pharmaceuticals)
  • Alupent Inhalation Aerosol (Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals)
  • Azmacort Inhalation Aerosol (Abbott Laboratories)
  • Intal Inhaler (King Pharmaceuticals)

Banned inhalers currently in production (to be off the market by 2013):

  • Aerobid Inhaler System (Forest Laboratories)
  • Combivent Inhalation Aerosol (Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals)
  • Maxair Autohaler (Graceway Pharmaceuticals)