A new law going into effect at this year's end will stop the distribution of over the counter asthma inhalers for good. The over the counter asthma inhalers currently for sale at your local drug store won't be available come January 1st as an attempt to stop the depletion of the Earth's ozone layer: the part of the Earth's atmosphere that prevents the sun's harmful UV rays from reaching the surface.
Over the counter asthma inhalers currently use chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to generate the misted medicine many asthmatics rely on to provide quick relief from asthma symptoms. CFCs have been proven to breakdown the ozone layer, and the move to stop their dispersion into the atmosphere has lead lawmakers to make over the counter asthma inhalers obsolete. Instead, asthmatics will be forced to get a prescription inhaler that uses hydrofluoroalkane in place of the environmentally damaging CFCs. Unfortunately, lawmakers aren't worrying about damaging the pocketbooks of asthmatics as prescription inhalers using the new aerosol cost anywhere from $30 to $60, a large increase from the $20 cost of the over the counter variant. If you currently rely on an over the counter inhaler, be sure to consult your healthcare provider about making the switch to a new prescription inhaler.