Dry Powder Inhalers (DPI)

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Inhalers contribute to 3% of the NHS carbon footprint. Most of these emissions come from propellants used in metered dose inhalers (MDIs). Salbutamol MDIs are the single biggest source of carbon emissions from NHS medicines prescribing with Ventolin Evohaler MDI having the highest carbon footprint. Most of these emissions come from the propellants used in an MDI inhaler.

The carbon footprint of a Ventolin MDI inhaler is the equivalent to a 175-mile car journey whereas a salbutamol dry powder inhaler equates to a 4-mile car journey.

– In line with the NHS Long Term Plan to reduce carbon emissions we are reviewing patients over the age of 18 who are regularly prescribed inhalers for their respiratory condition to consider switching their metered dose inhaler, where it is clinically suitable, to a dry powder inhaler. We will be sending out questionnaires by SMS to identify patients who would like to be switched to a greener dry powder inhaler device.

– Dry powder inhalers have a significantly a lower carbon footprint than metered dose inhalers and are therefore a lot better for the environment. – see figure 1.

– Dry powder inhalers require a DIFFERENT inhaler technique than the prescribed metered dose inhaler.

– Patients who have responded to the questionnaire and are happy to have their inhaler switched to the dry powder inhaler device will be sent an SMS to inform them of the name of their new inhaler device type.

– We are also working closely with local community pharmacies who should contact you discuss and provide information including inhaler technique on your new dry powder inhaler device by asking you to participate in the ‘New Medicines Service’ also known as the NMS service. This service provided by the pharmacy will also ensure to provide a follow up to check how you are getting on with the new inhaler

– If you are not contacted by the pharmacy or would like more information before switching, please contact the practice and a member of the PCN pharmacy team based at the practice will arrange to contact you to provide all relevant information on your new inhaler device.

– The dry powder inhaler work in the same way as your metered dose inhaler provided, they are used correctly, and you can demonstrate the correct inhaler technique.

Dry Powder Inhalers

This link will allow you to select your prescribed Dry Powder Inhaler and each one has a training video for the correct technique. If you are unsure, you can speak to your community pharmacist or contact your surgery and ask for one of the pharmacy team to contact you.

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