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Asthma Inhalers Relief Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Unknown


Mr. DINGELL. Madam Speaker, I thank my good friend for yielding me this time. Neither he nor I need hair spray, and so we can approach that matter with some serenity. But I want to say here, I yield to no one in this Chamber over what has been done or what I have done on food and drug safety for the American consuming public. I'm the author of the provisions that require Food and Drug to only market those things which are safe and effective. If Food and Drug doesn't like this, they can take it off the market on that ground. They have not chosen to do so. The only reason it is going off the market is because of the fact that it bothers the folks who want the Montreal Protocol to go into place.

Now, let's take a little bit of a look at it. There are 1.2 million issues of this particular pharmaceutical. A piddling amount of CFCs is going to be released in that these inhalers are very small. They have a few milliliters of propellent. It's not going to make any significant difference. Food and Drug can take it off the market. It is safe. It is efficacious.

Now I want to talk about a couple of other things. The gentleman from Texas has talked about what happens when you have these problem as an asthmatic. My old dad was a former tubercular. He lived through his life with about half a lung, and I listened to him every night, up walking around, gasping like a fish on a rock because he couldn't get air.

There are a lot of people who have used Primatene Mist because they thought it worked. And if that is so, in fact it does work because it gives relief to people who are sick. If it is bad, Food and Drug can take it off the market because it is unsafe. That is not the reason it is off the market; it is the Montreal Protocol.

Let us consider the fact that there are people out there who need this substance. Now, I hear that it is going to benefit one company, the current manufacturer. That manufacturer is not going to make 10 cents on this deal, and the reason is very simple: the profits and the benefits that are going to be generated by these sales of Primatene Mist are going to go--guess where--to charity. That's where they're going.

Who we are helping is the people who have need of this; and if you haven't had a situation where you couldn't get your breath, you don't know the terrors that exist there. And you don't know the kind of terrors that my old dad had when I listened to him walking up and down at night, every night, gasping to get a breath of air. There was no Primatene Mist in those days, and so there was no relief for him.

Now, they say, well, you can go to the emergency room or somebody's going to develop relief, but there's nothing on the market that matches the price. Some of these things that they have that they are saying are going to be available are possibly going to be available in a little bit--possibly not. And they also are big, so big that they're not going to be readily available to somebody who has need. They might be helpful if they can put them on wheels so that the fellow can tow them around behind him. But the hard fact of the matter is that Primatene Mist is going to be there when it is needed, and it is going to provide the people who want their free choice to have that particular medication. It will be available to them.

I say make it available to the people. There's no rascality. This is a safe substance. If it weren't, Food and Drug wouldn't have taken it off the market because it was either unsafe or inefficacious.

So having said those things, let us support the bill. It's a good bill. The opposition of other manufacturers is to be expected. They simply want to cut a fat hog by making profits by selling their competitive devices.


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