World Environment Day: Manchester Medicines Evaluation Unit leads testing of ozone-friendly CFC-free inhalers


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Today is World Environment Day 2021. This year’s theme is “Reimagine, Recreate, Restore” and focuses on how, collectively and individually, we can take action to reduce our impact on the environment. planet and repair the world’s ecosystems.

At The MEU, we pride ourselves on being one of the world’s leading inhaler testing companies. With the banning of CFCs under the Montreal Protocol in 1996, we led the testing of ozone-friendly CFC-free inhalers that replaced inhalers containing CFCs. However, these new inhalers contain high GWP (global warming potential) propellants 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 around the world. Dry powder inhalers (DPIs), inhalers with new low GWP propellants and propellantless soft mist inhalers, all of which are under development, could reduce the NHS carbon footprint from inhalers closer to zero over the next few years.

Currently, a single blue asthma inhaler is equivalent to nearly 200 miles in a family car. Over the next 5-10 years, with the support of MEU research, the world will be able to reduce its reliance on these high GWP inhalers that have a negative impact on climate change.

Patients want and deserve environmental information and need to be informed about their inhaler’s carbon footprint as part of their inhaler choice. The carbon footprint of the worst inhaler is 200 times that of 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 carrying out clinical trials to assist in the development of breakthrough medicines for patients and future generations.


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