My humble answer: There was a quick relief inhaler available over the counter, most recently under the Brand Name Primatene® Mist. The product was introduced in 1956 under the Brand Name Medihaler-epi. So it was on the market for over 46 years until the banned the sale after December 31, 2011 due to the small amount of CFC propellant in the inhaler.
Representatives from the California based Amphastar will be launching a campaign soon to get the inhaler back on the shelves.
According to a July 31, 2012 Press Release:
The campaign will promote a Facebook group and a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), encouraging the agency to allow putting the remaining supply of the over-the-counter inhaler back on the market and support federal legislation with the same objective.
Representatives of Amphastar will announce the campaign as part of a House Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Power subcommittee hearing on the "Asthma Inhalers Relief Act of 2012". The hearing will be held on July 18, 2012 at 10:15 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Witnesses are to be determined.The company has decided it will donate the net profits from all "brought back" over the countery Primitine Mist inhalers (approximately $6.50 per unit of product sole) to charity.
I've always been an opponent of this inhaler, because I think an asthmatic should see a doctor and get Albuterol which works better and is safer. However, considering a regulation forced the removal of CFC inhalers from the market, and caused a spike in the cost of asthma medicines, I have changed my mind. I think asthmatics should have at least something available to them that has a low cost. Considering the FDA won't approve the safer Albuterol for over the counter, Primitine Mist is the only option.
Thoughts. Feel free to argue with me. But be nice. Please.