The fundamental discussion about climate change also intersects with the healthcare sector, including the treatment of asthma and COPD. Easyhalers are plastic inhalers used to distribute dry-powder active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to their site of action. In order to examine the carbon emissions and environmental impact associated with their product, Orion has conducted a comprehensive LCA for Easyhaler. This assessment covers carbon footprint produced throughout the product life cycle, from raw material sourcing and manufacturing to distribution and final end-of-life disposal.
The carbon LCA, was conducted for different Easyhaler products:
The average carbon footprint of a single Easyhaler in this assessment was 0.588 kg CO₂e. Of the four Easyhaler products addressed, the combination product Bufomix (budesonide-formoterol) Easyhaler produced the smallest carbon load of 0.514 kg CO₂e. In all cases, the majority of carbon emissions (approximately 60%) was associated with inhaler manufacturing whereas distribution accounted for less than 2% of the emissions (Figure 1). Manufacturing stage was also the major source of variation between inhalers resulting mainly from different APIs and quantities of the lactose carrier. The breakdown of carbon emissions at different life cycle stages of Bufomix Easyhaler is provided in Table 1.
Figure 1. Breakdown of Carbon Emissions from a single Easyhaler
The values are averaged for the products tested.
Table 1. Breakdown of carbon emissions from Bufomix Easyhalers
Of the four Easyhaler products assessed, the combination product Bufomix (budesonide-formoterol) Easyhaler produced the smallest carbon footprint.
Addressing the major environmental challenges of modern times calls for a sustainability perspective in all decision making. While the patient’s needs are, and always should be, the primary criteria in selecting the inhaler, the sustainability of the product is a significant value to consider and discuss when weighing equally efficient options.
Orion in conjunction with Carbon Footprint Ltd, has assessed the average cradle-to-grave carbon emissions associated with Easyhaler. As a result, Orion has qualified to use the Carbon Footprint Standard.
The availability of Easyhaler products varies between countries. Bufomix (budesonide-formoterol) Easyhaler is the only preparation available in the Republic of Ireland.
Easyhaler Carbon Life Cycle Assessment Report, Executive Summary 2020, Carbon Footprint Ltd. Available at: orion.fi/en
Date of preparation: July 2020 / EASYH-886
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