Friday, August 22, 2008


I'm afraid I wasn't very polite yesterday.

About two years ago, I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma. I was given an inhaler of albuterol along with a spacer in order to control my symptoms when doing cardio. This spacer is a plastic tube approximately four inches long which helps the medicine to aerosolize properly before reaching my lungs.

Well, I finally managed to misplace my spacer, so I ran down to the local pharmaceutical emporium to procure another. When I asked for one, the pharmacist looked at me blankly and then said, "I can't give you one. You need a prescription for that".

I looked at her in disbelief and said, "You're joking. It's a plastic tube. What could the FDA possibly find harmful in letting people purchase one?" She defensively replied, in a failed attempt to make me feel better about the situation, "Well, saline solution to irrigate wounds is prescription-only as well."

Her attempt to pacify me with that fact didn't work.

I then informed her that I would just construct one myself, to which she countered, "You can't do that." "Oh, really", I told her. "Who's going to stop me from calling the manufacturer, finding out exactly what kind of plastic they use, and going and buying four inches of it?"

I am now fully expecting the FDA tactical squad to break down my door at any moment, looking for my plastic tube that wasn't prescribed to me.


Anonymous said...

The spacer I can kinda see, being a medical device that changes how a drug works. It's still silly, But sterile saltwater? What stupid thing could a person do with that that could possibly harm them that wouldn't happen without a permission slip from the doctor? Drowning?

Bike Bubba said...

That is bizaare. I can see some regulation of drugs that can actually be dangerous, but a pipe?

Weird. I'm reminded of one of the best days of my life; when the FDA released Claritin for over the counter sales. Made my autumn days a LOT better!