Sustainability: The push for pharma to move towards more environmentally friendly propellants

In the workshop presented at RDD 2021, Lei Mao, Ph.D., Director of Inhalation Science and Product Development and Mark Knowles, Head of Product Engineering, discussed how the inhalation industry should prepare to adopt new propellants in order to guarantee the continued, reliable manufacture and supply of vital medicines. Considerations such as device compatibility, formulation or industrialisation using new propellants were also discussed.

Following the amendment to the Montreal Protocol, it was agreed by the United Nations (UN) countries in 2016 to phase down global HFA consumption by 80-85% by 2047, disallowing propellants with a higher global warming potential (GWP) of 150. Although exempt, as other industries phase out the use of HFAs, limited supply could result in a situation where products are no longer available to the medical market. It is, therefore, important to ensure that pMDIs are compatible with the new lower GWP propellants. Development and manufacturers of the MDI products as well and device manufacturers need to lead the way in tackling the implications this could have on the pharma industry.

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