Thursday, October 14, 2004

Demand MDI Reform Now!

Anyone reading this blog on a regular basis knows that I am, shall we say, disenchanted with pharmaceutical companies on the whole. Here's just another twig to add to the fire:

http://health.yahoo.com/search/healthnews?lb=s&p=id%3A63909

This health day article focuses on how most families make errors when administering medication via MDIs -- largely (and most seriously) because, as we parents of asthmatics know, there's no accurate way to tell how much is left in the damned canister!!

It's one thing with Flovent -- four puffs a day from a 120-dose MDI is easy enough to estimate. But with Albuterol, which is given only as needed, and for which I have several MDIs.... well, unless I take a razor-pointed Sharpie and make a little checkmark on the case every time I use it, I'll never know how much is left.

I've been using the flotation method (mentioned in above article) to determine whether the MDIs are empty, but apparently that's both inactive AND dangerous. Who knew?

So - my point (and yes, I do have one) is that big pharma should really stop putting up funds for high-tech gas treatments (I mean, what the hell is GERD, anyway? And aren't Gaviscon and Mylanta good enough for most people?) and come up with an MDI that actually tells you that it's empty. That way asthmatics can either stop wasting money by throwing away still-useful MDIs (and for those of you who don't know, Flovent costs about $200/month) or putting themselves at risk by sucking on empty canisters -- and not getting the medication they need.

1 comment:

Baby Jacob said...

OK you'd probably guess you'd get a response to the "what the hell is GERD anyway"... it is the whole reason my son has asthma. He has GERD so bad he'd aspirate and then go into lung after lung infection to the point that's his irritant for asthma now. It took us every medicine in the book out there to find a drug that would help his GERD and not one of them is geared toward infants!!! so he had to keep taking the nasty tasting minty powders meant for GTube Elderly patients who aspirate which was the hardest thing in the world to get down him.. and even today he can't eat solids during the day without refluxing and coughing/aspirating or throwing up on me all day... I say do all the research they want on GERD because it has also been linked to the trigger for asthma in some kids.