The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol aims to phase-down global HFA consumption. While volumes of hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) gases used by the inhalation and respiratory healthcare industry are relatively small, it is likely we will see supply shortages in the future as other industries completely phase out their use. This article discusses ways the inhalation industry can prepare for and be ready to adopt new propellants to guarantee continued, reliable manufacture and supply of vital medicines for patients.
There is a need to adopt more environmentally friendly pMDI propellants, not only to reduce carbon footprint, but also to mitigate supply issues that may result from the decline in the use of existing propellants. HFA-152a and HFO-1234ze(E) are two potential candidates. It is critical that drug developers and manufacturers prepare their facilities for the use of these propellants, considering factors such as container closure compatibility, flammability and challenges in process development and scale-up. Those who prepare now can help “future-proof” their operations, continuing to bring pMDIs to patients who depend on them.