In 2009, federal laws mandated that inhaler propellants (the substance that causes the medicine from your inhaler to enter into your lungs when pressed) change from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to hydroflouroalkane (HFA) in order to decrease ozone levels and protect the environment. This allowed pharmaceutical companies to start increasing costs, as the new propellants were considered a "new drug." As a result, many patients began turning to Primatene Mist as an over-the-counter alternative.
Makers of over-the-counter epinephrine CFC inhalers appealed the FDA ban, claiming that many patients could not afford the new inhalers. However, the drug companies subsequently lost their appeal. As a result, Primatene Mist and other generic epinephrine CFC inhalers cannot be made or sold in the U.S. after December 31, 2011.