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Medical Device Industry gives Greener Choices in Inhalers

Following COP26, a number of companies, including dozens of pharmaceutical companies, set net-zero emissions commitments. Because climate change, health, and medicine are all closely linked, the healthcare business is a critical stakeholder. Asthma, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, and other heat-related ailments are all linked to rising global temperatures. Healthcare, on the other hand, is one of the most carbon-intensive service industries in the US economy.

Companies must account for their contributions to climate change, given the healthcare industry’s fundamental purpose of preserving patients’ lives and improving health outcomes. Some pharmaceutical and medical device businesses have accepted the challenge of developing more environmentally friendly versions of their products. For example, to treat asthma and COPD patients, some have created pressurised Metered Dose Inhalers (pMDI) that use propellants with lower global warming risk.

In the United States, metered dose Inhalers (MDIs) with hydrofluoroalkane propellants are commonly given for acute symptoms as well as long-term management of asthma and COPD. The propellant is needed to atomize the medication formulation, allowing for precise and reproducible active agent dosage in each puff. The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol calls for the reduction of HFA, a powerful greenhouse gas.

This has prompted new developments to make it easier to switch from HFA MDIs to alternatives with reduced carbon footprints, such as dry powder Inhalers (DPI, no propellant). This study examines the financial and environmental consequences of moving from HFA MDIs to DPIs, as well as the potential worth of investing in lower-carbon MDI alternatives.

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