Consider clinical impact first in any asthma inhaler switch
Inhaler devices may leave a carbon footprint, but are essential to many people's health
Inhalers are the mainstay of asthma treatment, where they reduce symptoms and save lives (Scullion and Holmes 2013), and in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), where they reduce symptoms and reduce risk of death – although a definitive study on this has not been published. But do inhalers come with a cost to the environment?
NHS carbon footprint
It is undeniable that all health and social care actions affect the environment, and the NHS has a large carbon footprint (King’s Fund 2019). Inhaler devices contribute to this carbon footprint, and more than 65 million are prescribed in the UK every year.
In the UK, the most used device type is the pressurised Metered Dose Inhaler (pMDI), followed by Dry Powder Inhalers (DPIs) and other...