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FDAnews Device Daily Bulletin

THE HIGHER COST OF BREATHING

May 15, 2006

An environmental effort to protect the earth's ozone layer could mean disruptions for the nation's millions of asthma patients. A federally mandated shift to a more ozone-friendly version of the hand-held inhalers used to quell asthma attacks is creating spot shortages of the devices, because production of the older versions has declined even before producers of the new inhalers ramp up fully. The shift is also giving a few drugmakers the rare chance to introduce brand-name medicine into a market long dominated by low-cost generics.
New York Times