Sustainability in community pharmacy

Greener inhaler prescribing

Will a change in inhaler prescribing make a difference to climate change? Watch the quick and fun educational videos about greener inhaler prescribing produced by Dr Mike Poplawski, a GP in Salford, with support from Salford Clinical Commissioning Group Innovation and Research Fund.

Climate crisis explained
Green inhaler prescribing
How to do an asthma medication review

Greener inhaler prescribing resources

To get you started, you may like to listen to a podcast of a conversation between Dr Joanna Bircher of GP Excellence and Dr David McKelvey, Greater Manchester Primary Care Sustainability Lead, about inhalers in the context of sustainability.

PCN implementation guidelines have been developed. And, yes, we have edited them down to two pages (as long as you don’t count the appendix)! The guidelines include links to resources including the following.

Greater Manchester Medicines Management Group (GMMMG) guidelines

Greater Manchester Medicines Management Group (GMMMG) guidelines on:

Links to data on tableau* for:

Links to data on tableau* for:

*To access tableau, you need to use an email account.

Inhaler posters

Greater Manchester inhaler posters for:

Additional resources

Improving inhaler technique through community pharmacy

Many pharmacies offer a new medicines service where they support patients starting new medication. They can support the use of a new inhaler device through this service.

The ‘Improving Inhaler Technique through Community Pharmacy’ service is an additional Greater Manchester-commissioned service which targets patients receiving inhaled medication for asthma or COPD.

The pharmacist or pharmacy technician will target patients with prescriptions for inhalers and provide an initial inhaler review, including an assessment of current technique and demonstration of correct technique as appropriate, CAT or ACT score and use of the In-Check device. They will assess the patient’s disease control and provide health promotion information, for example, stop smoking advice.

Participating pharmacies are listed on the community pharmacy Greater Manchester website.

Improving patient outcomes

This service can improve patient outcomes through:

  • Assessment of inhaler technique
  • Improved patient understanding and adherence with inhaler therapy
  • Optimum use of inhaler therapy
  • A reduction in adverse events associated with inhaler treatment
  • Ensuring that patients who smoke are offered appropriate advice about stopping smoking
Reducing waste

It can also reduce waste of inhaler therapies through:

  • Improved inhaler technique and improved use of therapies, leading to a reduction in wasted doses
  • A possible reduction in prescribed inhalers for poorly controlled conditions
  • Patients being encouraged to order only the prescription items they need

Novo Nordisk – PenCycle recycling initiative

PenCycle is a circular recycling initiative for pre-filled Novo Nordisk pens used for diabetes and weight management treatments. Pen users are being asked to return their empty pens so they can be recycled and given new purpose. 23 million empty pens go to waste every year and this initiative supports environmental sustainability and reduces waste.

Greater Manchester community pharmacies have been involved as one of three pilot areas, in partnership with the Novo Nordisk, Alliance Healthcare, NPA and other partners.

Following the success of the pilots, there are now plans to expand nationwide. Ahead of the national rollout, a survey has been developed to capture valuable insights about the PenCycle initiative from all community pharmacists – whether you have already joined or made a conscious decision not to join. All pharmacists are encouraged to complete the survey.

If you are a pharmacist working within Greater Manchester, Novo Nordisk want to hear from you. Sign up now.

Find out more on the Greater Manchester Local Pharmacy Committee website.