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24 Jan 2020

AstraZeneca commits to near-zero GWP asthma inhalers by 2025

UK pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca has committed to launching its next-generation asthma and chronic pulmonary disease inhaler with near-zero carbon propellants by 2025.

Unveiling its overall ‘Ambition Zero Carbon’ initiative at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, AstraZeneca said it expects the propellant to be used in the next-generation pressurized metered-dose inhalers (pMDI) to have a global warming potential (GWP) footprint 90-99% lower than those used in older pMDIs.

“By offering both next-generation pMDIs, with near-zero GWP propellant, and DPI medicines, AstraZeneca is safeguarding important therapeutic options for patients while achieving ambitious environmental targets,” Sir Menes Pangalos, executive vice president, biopharmaceuticals at AstraZeneca said. “We believe it’s critical that reducing our impact on the environment does not compromise patient outcomes. AstraZeneca’s inhaled medicines reduce COPD exacerbations and asthma attacks, which are potentially life-threatening events.”

AstraZeneca said it will continue to offer dry power inhaled medicines.

pMDIs are an important therapeutic option for patients, particularly where familiarity with the device, limited lung function, young or advanced age or reduced dexterity or cognition are considerations.

AstraZeneca said it will invest up to $1 billion on its overall decarbonization programme to reach zero carbon emissions from its global operations by 2025 and to ensure its entire value chain is carbon negative by 2030.

It said the strategy includes accelerating its existing science-based targets, doubling energy productivity and using renewable energy for both power and heat as well as switching to a 100% electric vehicle fleet.