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Asthma: Medical Equipment

Volume 458: debated on Tuesday 13 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department is taking to replace chlorofluorocarbon-based asthma inhalers with CFC-free version for patients over the age of 12. (126729)

The transfer of patients to chlorofluorocarbon-free (CFC) metered dose inhalers (MDIs) began in 1995 when the first one was licensed for use in the United Kingdom. Many more have been introduced to the market since that time.

The Government’s plan for phasing out CFCs in asthma inhalers is set out in the UK Transition Strategy for CFC-based MDIs, which was developed after consultation with all relevant stakeholders and published by the Department and the Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions in 1999. It was communicated widely to health care professionals in the national health service, patient groups and patients at that time.

The Department and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs continue to actively pursue the phase-out of CFCs in MDIs in accordance with the UK Transition Strategy. In February 2007, the UK declared CFCs to be non-essential for four of the six drug categories set out in this strategy.