Lung Diseases: Medical Equipment

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 4th June 2019.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential of schemes by pharmaceutical companies to develop recycling and recovery schemes for respiratory inhalers.

Photo of Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are informed by NHS England that its joint Public Health England funded Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) has reviewed a scheme operated by GlaxoSmithKline that encourages return of inhalers for recycling. The scheme is very welcome but limited in scope, currently recovering around 1% of all inhalers.

All used inhalers can already be returned to all pharmacies to be disposed of by incineration with the medicines waste streams.

NHS England has invited industry suggestions to the national Low Carbon Inhalers Working Group established by the SDU, on ways to increase recovery for environmentally safe disposal and recycling.

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