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AARC Urges Congress to Go Forward with Epinephrine Withdrawal as Planned

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December 1, 2011

CFC-propelled over-the-counter epinephrine is scheduled to go off the market on Dec. 31, but some members of Congress are now asking the EPA to allow the primary product containing the drug, Primatene Mist CFC, to continue to be sold until existing stock is depleted.

The AARC is joining six sister organizations in opposing the delay, noting that a firm transition date is in the best interests of patients with asthma, who too often rely on OTC epinephrine to treat symptoms that would be much more appropriately treated with proven prescription medications.

In a letter to the EPA, the Association and its partners specifically note that epinephrine has the potential for excessive cardiac stimulation, especially in high doses.

The organizations also emphasize that allowing Primatene Mist CFC to be sold until the existing stock is depleted will cause confusion for asthma patients because no definite date for withdrawal will exist. Efforts by pharmacists and other health professionals to deliver a nationally coordinated, timely message to users about their treatment options will be curtailed for the same reason.