Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) damage stratospheric ozone permitting enhanced levels of ultraviolet B radiation to reach the Earth's surface. As a result, production of CFCs is now banned under the Montreal Protocol with the exception of their temporary continued use in pressurized metered dose inhalers used to treat those with airway disorders. Replacement propellants have now been identified and shown to be safe and a major exercise is under way to reformulate the commonly use aerosolized medicines with the new propellants. The new products are now undergoing clinical trials and the first reformulated β-agonist and corticosteroid inhalers have reached the marketplace. The majority of the current products will have been changed over to the new types over the next 3 yrs, and each country will adapt a transition strategy to oversee this process. The politicians, the environmentalists, the pharmaceutical industry and the regulatory authorities have fulfilled their part in this changeover, and respiratory interested health professionals now need to address what this means for them and their patients so that there may be a seamless transition for the millions of people who use inhaled medicines worldwide.
- Airway diseases
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine