World Environment Day: The Medicines Evaluation Unit in Manchester leads testing of ozone-friendly CFC-free inhalers
Today is World Environment Day 2021. This year’s theme is “Reimagine, Recreate, Restore” focusing on how, both collectively and individually, we can take action to reduce our impact on the planet and repair the world’s ecosystems.
Here at The MEU, we are proud to be one of the world’s foremost inhaler-testing companies. With the ban on CFCs under the Montreal Protocol in 1996, we led the testing of ozone friendly CFC-free inhalers that replaced CFC containing inhalers. However, these newer inhalers contain propellants with high GWP (global warming potential) and account for 4% of the NHS’ carbon footprint.
The MEU is at the forefront of testing new climate-friendly inhalers to ensure they are safe and effective for large populations worldwide. Dry powder inhalers (DPIs), inhalers with new low GWP propellants, and non-propellant soft mist inhalers, all of which are undergoing development, could reduce the NHS Carbon footprint that is due to inhalers closer to zero over the next few years.
Currently, a single blue asthma inhaler is equivalent to almost 200 miles in a family car. Over the next 5 to 10 years, with the support of MEU research, the world will be able to reduce its dependency on these high GWP inhalers which adversely impact climate change.
Patients want and deserve information on the environment and should be informed about the carbon footprint of their inhaler as part of their inhaler choice. The carbon footprint for the worst inhaler is 200 times greater than for the best inhaler.
Based in Wythenshawe, Manchester and founded in 1999, the Medicines Evaluation Unit is one of the UK’s leading specialist clinical research facilities and has over 20 years’ experience of undertaking clinical trials to aid the development of ground-breaking medicines for patients and future generations.