MPs call on NHS to reduce use of MDIs to tackle climate change

Frances Mortimer's picture

The Environmental Audit Committee has called on the Government, the NHS and manufacturers to reduce the production and use of metered dose inhalers in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

In the report, 'UK Progress on Reducing F-Gas Emissions', released last week, the MPs recommend that ​"low GWP inhalers should be promoted within the NHS unless there are specific medical reasons for not doing so. Promotion should include raising awareness of low GWP inhalers and training amongst NICE, the medical community and patients.  The NHS should set a target that by 2022 at least 50% of prescribed inhalers are low GWP. It should publish annual progress reports."

The report also states that "We were disappointed to find that so few MDIs are disposed of responsibly. We therefore recommend that the Government should work with medical professionals, pharmacists, the pharmaceutical industry and patients to significantly improve the recycling of MDIs; this makes both environmental and economic sense.  The Government should ensure that by 2020, at least 50% of MDIs are recycled.  The Government should publish annual data showing progress in reaching and exceeding this target. It should also consider medical waste, such as MDIs, in its waste strategy."

This may be an opportune time for members of this Network to lobby the Government and the NHS to adopt these recommendations, and to offer our support in implementing them.

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