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      The Climate is Changing for Metered-Dose Inhalers and Action is Needed

      1

      Drug Design, Development and Therapy

      Dove

      climate change, global warming, F-gases, propellants, respiratory drug market, inhalers

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          Abstract

          Increases in global temperature are already having a significant impact on our climate. The hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) propellants used today in pressurized metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs) have global warming potential (GWP) many times that of carbon dioxide. Their use, together with all other emissive uses of HFCs, is being phased down under the Montreal protocol. This has prompted calls to switch patients to dry powder inhalers (DPIs). This paper presents a new analysis of the top 15 respiratory drug markets by drug class. It shows that a switch to DPIs would be economically feasible for most countries and most drugs. However, a wholesale switch of reliever medications, notably short-acting  β-agonists, would lead to significant increases in the cost of these life-saving medications. Reviewing the evidence, whilst most patients are capable of using DPIs, the very young, very old and those undergoing an acute exacerbation still require a pMDI. Thus, there is a clinical and economic need to have both pMDIs and DPIs available. At the same time, it is projected that the reduction in non-medical uses of propellants is likely to give rise to a 5-fold increase in their cost for pMDI uses and is likely to hit the Western world in 2025. This may lead to a price increase in reliever medication that will make it unaffordable for the poorer communities in some markets. At the same time, opportunities to save money by developing new formulations using propellants with lower GWP, such as HFC 152a or HFO 1234ze(E), are described. Two companies have made this commitment, but neither currently have a strong presence in reliever medication. For them, or other companies, now is the time to act; 2025 is not far away in terms of product development timescales and the climate cannot wait.

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          Most cited references 28

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          Retail sales of inhalation devices in European countries: so much for a global policy.

          To evaluate the retail sales of pressurised metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs), dry-powder inhalers (DPIs) and liquids for nebulisation in 16 European countries.
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            Inhaled corticosteroids for asthma: impact of practice level device switching on asthma control

            Background As more inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) devices become available, there may be pressure for health-care providers to switch patients with asthma to cheaper inhaler devices. Our objective was to evaluate impact on asthma control of inhaler device switching without an accompanying consultation in general practice. Methods This 2-year retrospective matched cohort study used the UK General Practice Research Database to identify practices where ICS devices were changed without a consultation for ≥5 patients within 3 months. Patients 6–65 years of age from these practices whose ICS device was switched were individually matched with patients using the same ICS device who were not switched. Asthma control over 12 months after the switch was assessed using a composite measure including short-acting β-agonist and oral corticosteroid use, hospitalizations, and subsequent changes to therapy. Results A total of 824 patients from 55 practices had a device switch and could be matched. Over half (53%) of device switches were from dry powder to metered-dose inhalers. Fewer patients in switched than matched cohort experienced successful treatment based on the composite measure (20% vs. 34%) and more experienced unsuccessful treatment (51% vs. 38%). After adjusting for possible baseline confounding factors, the odds ratio for treatment success in the switched cohort compared with controls was 0.29 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.19 to 0.44; p < 0.001) and for unsuccessful treatment was 1.92 (95% CI, 1.47 to 2.56; p < 0.001). Conclusion Switching ICS devices without a consultation was associated with worsened asthma control and is therefore inadvisable.
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              The importance of inhaler devices in the treatment of COPD

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                DDDT
                dddt
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove
                1177-8881
                29 July 2020
                2020
                : 14
                : 3043-3055
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Inspiring Strategies , Leicester, Leicestershire, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: John N Pritchard 109 Main Street, Newtown Linford, LeicestershireLE6 0AF, UKTel +44 116 318 0567 Email john@jnpinspiring.com
                Article
                262141
                10.2147/DDDT.S262141
                7410333
                © 2020 Pritchard.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

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                Figures: 5, Tables: 2, References: 53, Pages: 13
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