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23 September 2020
Asthma , COPD
- Medicines

In September EFA participated in the Inception Impact Assessment consultation launched by the European Commission Directorate General for Climate Action to review the current Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulation.

Some F-Gases, as they are commonly known, are an important element of asthma and COPD liquid inhalers, as they act as a propellant to quickly release the liquid medication into the lungs effortlessly.

pMDI is mainly used in asthma and COPD relievers as a life-saving medication to avoid or stop asthma attacks and COPD exacerbations, or as an additional rescue medication in case of an attack for any stage of asthma.

F-Gas based inhalers are mainly prescribed to patients who, due to their young age (children), old age (older people) or their disease severity (severe stage of pulmonary obstruction), encounter difficulties breathing in deeply from dry-powder inhalers, which are F-Gases free.

EFA advocates that tackling climate change and air quality indoors and outdoors is crucial to reduce worsening symptoms and mortality of allergy and airways diseases. There is, however, a pressing need to tackle asthma and COPD care in Europe. Patients across Europe report preventable hospitalisation, overuse of relief medication, and lack of self-management plans.

Treatment choices can and should be improved to meet environmental requirements. We welcome the review of the F-Gases regulation as an opportunity to demonstrate to patients and the world, that despite asthma and COPD patients being victims of climate change, they are also key actors to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). EFA calls for fully integrated health considerations, as well as patient care concerns, into all future EU climate actions. This way the access to the care that patients need is not compromised, as that would be against their health, and would impact their social and fundamental rights.

The review of the F-Gases regulation is part of the European Green Deal, the landmark initiative of the European Commission to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. The initiative entails the review of many policies affecting the planet.

Allergy, asthma and COPD patients are directly impacted by climate change and air quality. The weather-related events and impact on biodiversity and plant life cycles are directly linked to worsening and onset of allergy and respiratory symptoms, and even death.

EFA thanks all members involved and the GAAPP for having endorsed our position as the global community.

In 2020, EFA has contributed to the ongoing review of the food (Farm to Fork) and the climate change (adaptation) strategies.

The full EFA response to the F-Gases inception impact assessment consultation can be found here.