As per national guidance to support the NHS to meet carbon emission targets and work towards a greener NHS, we have been asked to review inhaler prescribing for our patients.
You are currently prescribed a MDI (Metered Dose Inhaler) which contains harmful greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming. Dry powder inhalers however have a much lower carbon footprint and some brands are carbon neutral. Therefore, we ask for your support to switch your current inhaler to a dry powder equivalent to reduce NHS carbon emissions and support our planet. Examples of metered dose inhalers include, Ventolin, Sereflo, Seretide Evohaler, Clenil, Fostair (excluding the NEXTHaler) amongst others.
For example, the use of just one Salbutamol Inhaler (Ventolin) has the same carbon footprint as a 175 mile journey in an average car and just 10 puffs of your MDI is the same as a 9 mile car journey.
For more information you can visit: https://www.england.nhs.uk/greenernhs/
Please note if you are prescribed a Salbutamol/Ventolin Inhaler – This will change BRAND to a SALAMOL branded inhaler (although this is still a metered dose inhaler it has less than 50% of the carbon emissions of a Ventolin). We would eventually like your salbutamol inhaler to be a dry powder inhaler therefore during your next asthma/COPD review, you may be offered a carbon neutral Dry Powder Inhaler such as SalbutamolEasyhaler.
We also would like to remind you that if you are using your salbutamol for Asthma, you should be using your Salbutamol inhaler infrequently. If you are ordering your salbutamol inhaler >3 times a year or using it 3 or more times a week you may need a review of your preventative treatment as excessive salbutamol use is a sign of poor asthma control. We will therefore be removing salbutamol inhalers from repeat prescriptions moving forward to reduce the potential for overuse. Please note this does not apply if you have COPD.
If you are prescribed a MDI for your preventative medication – This may be changed to a greener option that works for you during your routine Asthma/COPD Review.
If you have Asthma and would like to proactively change your inhalers to support the NHS green initiative, we would appreciate this.
In addition, we would like to refer you to the ‘Recycle Now’ Website which advises to return used inhalers to your local pharmacy for disposal. This will be thermally treated to destroy the greenhouse gases. For more information please visit: https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/inhalers-0
Thank you for your support and contribution to make our environment cleaner and our NHS greener.
If you have any questions about your inhalers or this change, you can speak with one of our clinical pharmacist team via reception.