SWOT analysis of Inhalers in Consideration of Sustainability and Lifecycle management

Inhaled drug delivery has a long history in medicine and has revolutionised the treatment of respiratory diseases as well as presenting exciting opportunities for delivery of novel drug modalities, the anatomical features of the lung and surrounding circulation facilitating both local and systemic treatment. Inhaled drug products comprise the formulation and delivery system, for example, metered dose inhaler (MDI), dry powder inhaler (DPI) and nebulisers, with device selection being determined by patient need. The environmental impact of inhalers is an increasingly pertinent area for consideration. The global warming effect of propellants used in MDIs that led originally to the phase out of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon propellants has again resurfaced due to the (albeit smaller) greenhouse effect of hydrofluoroalkane alternatives, leading to new research into “cleaner” replacements, for example, HFA152a (Noakes & Corr, 2016). . In addition, the Blue Planet effect is leading manufacturers to explore opportunities to improve sustainability of the plastics used in inhaler devices. Within this process, there are a number of factors that must be considered, to ensure seamless transition during product lifecycle evolution and minimise patient impact. This presentation intends to review the current situation, identify the opportunities and discuss some of the challenges that must be overcome in the lifecycle evolution of inhaled products in anticipation of future patient and environmental needs.

Author(s): Michelle L Dawson

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