The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Green Inhaler for an Efficient.

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Green Inhaler for an Efficient.
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Patients with inhalers should be able to access greener alternatives on the NHS. This is because the private good of better health and the public good of mitigating climate change are well aligned.

Currently many metered dose inhalers contain propellants which are potent greenhouse gases. This resource supports the NHS objective to switch MDIs from HFAs to lower global warming potential propellants by 2030.

1. Choose a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI)

Metered dose inhalers (MDIs) are currently the most commonly prescribed type of inhaler for asthma and COPD. They use propellants that contain hydrofluorocarbons – powerful greenhouse gases. These gases can have a large impact on global warming, but there are alternatives.

Changing the way we prescribe Green Inhaler is one way to reduce the environmental footprint of MDIs. Ideally, patients should be switched to dry powder inhalers (DPIs) and small volume nebulisers. However, these devices can be harder to use for patients, and are not suitable for all patients. It is therefore important that healthcare professionals are trained to help patients make the right choice of inhaler device for them.

We are seeing fantastic work being done at local and regional levels to improve the environmental footprint of inhalers. For example, Kidderminster clinical commissioning group has reduced the number of MDIs by implementing an innovative approach that uses green incentives for patients to switch. The resulting savings are not just in terms of carbon emissions, but also pharmaceutical costs.

The NHS is a global leader when it comes to tackling climate change and healthcare systems have an enormous opportunity to mitigate the impact of their activities on the world around them. The National Health Service has been clear that it needs to shift away from the metered-dose inhaler to more environmentally friendly devices for patients with respiratory conditions. This will have a major impact on the NHS’s carbon footprint but it is possible to do so in a way that does not compromise patient care.

A number of clinicians are already starting to implement these changes and the results have been very positive. The most common barriers to change are cost and lack of education. Both can be addressed by ensuring that the right information is available to patients and by supporting them to take part in shared decision making, evaluating inhaler indication, effectiveness, technique, and patient preference in their decisions.

A recent survey from Asthma+Lung UK found that 91% of patients who switched to a DPI said they were happy with their new inhaler, and that they felt better control of their condition. In addition, it is essential that patients are educated on how to correctly use their inhalers and on appropriate ways to dispose of them. For example, a handwritten sign on a community notice board in Halifax, West Yorkshire, has been shown to increase the number of patients returning used MDIs to their pharmacy rather than throwing them away.

2. Choose a Dry Powder Inhaler (DPI)

The majority of inhalers used by people with respiratory conditions are pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDI). pMDIs contain powerful greenhouse gases that can be as much as 1300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. These are harmful to the environment and contribute to climate change. However, many patients could benefit from switching to DPIs and soft mist inhalers (SMI) which do not use propellant gas.

Several studies have shown that DPIs and SMIs have significantly lower carbon footprints than pMDIs. Switching to White Inhaler for Asthma can reduce a patient’s annual CO2-equivalent emissions and pharmaceutical costs by a significant amount. Wilkinson et al. found that a patient switching from pMDIs to DPIs can reduce their carbon footprint by 420 kg CO2-equivalent annually and save them £60 per year.

These savings are a result of reduced pMDI usage, which in turn leads to a reduction in ozone depletion and greenhouse gas emissions. This is why the NHS is encouraging people over the age of 12 to speak to their GP or respiratory nurse about changing inhalers to a DPI.

This is an example of the NHS working towards achieving its net carbon zero ambitions. However, there are some concerns that higher costs for sustainable Round Purple Inhaler might act as a barrier to switching. However, climate change mitigation carries health benefits and these would be felt long after any increase in NHS costs from switching to DPIs.

3. Choose a Refillable Inhaler

If they end up in landfill, the propellant gases can leak into the atmosphere contributing to climate change. It is important that patients are aware of the carbon footprint of their MDIs and that they discuss any potential changes with their doctor, nurse or pharmacist, so that the most appropriate green option can be agreed and used safely. A recent survey conducted by Greater Manchester Green Action showed that most patients (59%) said they wanted to switch to a lower carbon inhaler, provided it offered the same therapeutic benefits. Patients have been reported as needing more information, advice and support to make this possible.

4. Choose a Container

Climate change is a global issue and there’s growing recognition that everyone has a part to play in tackling it. While it’s difficult to design an inhaler entirely from sustainable materials, it is possible to reduce its carbon footprint and GWP through the creation of refillable devices. This is a goal Nemera is committed to, working alongside our pharmaceutical partners to embed sustainability into R&D and design. To find out more, read Phil Seeney’s article in ONdrugDelivery.

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Dulquer X Margin

Dulquer X Margin is a passionate writer contributing insightful content on the Mirror Eternally website. His current focus explores the captivating world of interesting articles, ensuring every event leaves a lasting impression.