Thursday, September 29, 2011

Crony Capitalism?

The only over-the-counter asthma medication, Primatene Mist, will be pulled from store shelves this year. The reason? A treaty signed by the U.S. that commits to limiting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a measure to protect the ozone layer.

Of course, if every asthmatic on earth simultaneously sprayed an entire Primatene inhaler with reckless abandon, it would result in precisely zero effect on the ozone layer. But alas, ozone is not the point.

A few years ago, the old tried-and-true generic albuterol inhaler was also pulled, citing the international treaty. Conveniently, pharmaceutical manufacturers immediately unveiled the "new" albuterol (non-generic, of course). It doesn't work as well as the old stuff, and it costs about twenty times as much. Quite a coup.

Follow the money, as usual. This is a perfect example of crony capitalism.

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