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Metered Dose Inhalers

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which EU countries (a) have and (b) have not phased out the use of CFC-based metered dose inhalers (MDIs); and what discussions her Department have had with those countries which have phased out MDIs on disseminating best practice; (108855)

(2) what steps the Government have taken to phase out the use of CFC-based metered dose inhalers.

The United Kingdom Government have already declared the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to be non-essential for three medicines in metered dose inhalers (MDIs)—ipratropium, salbutamol and fluticasone. The scope for further UK declarations is currently under review as part of further action to take forward the UK transition strategy for CFC-based metered dose inhalers.

The remaining need for CFCs for MDIs was most recently considered by member states, including the UK, at the meeting on 8 December 2006 of the Management Committee of EC Regulation 2037/2000 on substances that deplete the ozone layer. The European Commission plans to hold a joint meeting of member state Environment and Health Departments in March next year to further discuss continuing phase-out work.

Under the EU strategy for the phase-out of CFCs in metered dose inhalers, active ingredients in CFC-based MDIs are grouped into six categories. Five member states have declared the use of CFCs to be non-essential in all six categories. These are Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania and Slovenia.