Last week, I told you about some frightening findings about the injectable asthma drug Xolair… I’m talking about anaphylactic shock and severe hypersensitivity to begin with.
So asthmatics can’t get a safe medication that we know works, but they can get one with reams of side effects and little benefit.
Just wait until you see why…
The plot thickens
Cromolyn sodium, which was sold under the brand name Intal, had been on the market since 1968. Its use goes back to the old-fashioned “spinhaler” days. And it was safe and effective.
It was called a “breakthrough” asthma medication, “discovered” in 1965 by doctor and researcher Roger Altounyan, who himself had asthma.
Dr. Altounyan extracted the treatment from a plant used since ancient times. And it was proven to reduce inflammation and help improve lung function. In other words, prevent asthma attacks.
Especially exercised-induced asthma.
Intal wasn’t intended for sudden attacks, but when used daily, it significantly helped reduce them. And for some, it stopped their asthma symptoms entirely.
In the 1990’s cromolyn even became available for use in a nebulizer that was ideal for small children.
Then, without warning in 2009, Intal’s manufacturer King Pharmaceuticals announced that the drug was being discontinued.
As expected, the news shocked those who depended on it.
The reasoning behind Intal’s discontinuation was that King Pharmaceuticals couldn’t come up with a CFC-free inhaler device. CFCs, or Freon, are banned gasses that were used as aerosol propellants, in air conditioners and refrigerators. And King Pharmaceuticals said it wasn’t possible to come up with an alternative.
That seems like a reasonable explanation… until you keep looking.
Shortly after King Pharmaceuticals discontinued Intal, the company was purchased by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
Pfizer probably didn’t want this safe and highly effective medication – one that asthmatics had used for decades – compete with its blockbuster patent drugs that are riddled with side effects.
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“Pfizer to acquire King Pharmaceuticals, Inc.” October 11, 2010, Pfizer press release, Pfizer.com
“The National Osteoporosis Foundation Responds to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations on Calcium and Vitamin D” The National Osteoporosis Foundation, sacbee.com