At the last count, (May 2021), the Asthma and COPD Preparations and Compatible Devices Table (MIMS) listed a total of 17 different molecules available as 58 different preparations and contained within at least 20 different devices all licensed for use in the UK.


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This wide selection of available preparations and devices allows treatment to be tailored to the individual patient, but also complicates the decision on which device to choose.  

Each type of inhaler requires a particular type of inhaler technique, which, if not mastered, can negatively effect drug delivery to the lungs.

Alongside drug properties, key factors to consider include the inspiratory profile that a patient can achieve, age, cognitive capacity and functional ability of the patient​.  

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The NHS Long Term Plan outlines environmental commitments in line with the national carbon and air pollution reduction targets.

The propellants in pMDIs are responsible for an estimated 4% of all NHS emissions and the NHS plans to reduce this by changing to lower carbon inhalers such as DPIs. 

The NHS has set a target of reducing pMDI related carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.


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There are hundreds upon hundreds of inhaler technique related manuscripts, articles, research studies and conference proceedings.  Device technology has evolved beyond recognition since the early days of the Diskhaler and its useful little cleaning brush yet incorrect inhaler technique remains unacceptably frequent as highlighted by the findings of this systematic review by Sanchis et al (2016) ... 

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The authors concluded that 

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Which begs the question,

'So, what's wrong with the current approach to education?'

Once again, there is a plethora of articles and online educational resources aimed a HCPs, however, whilst they tell us what we 'should' be doing, they don't always provide us with a rationale as to the why.  For example, we are told to make sure that patients using a DPI should 'inhale forcefully from the very beginning and must not build up the speed of inhalation' but why must we make sure that this happens?  We are told that we need to consider the 'inspiratory profile' but what is this and how do we do it? 

Not understanding the reasons for change is one of the quickest ways to ruin motivation 



This course has been written by Tracy Kirk who has over 20 years worth of experience in teaching and assessing patients how to use their inhalers as well as over 20 years worth of experience in teaching health care professionals how to teach and assess patients on how to use their inhalers.        

This course has been written with primary care based health care professionals in mind.    

It is practical, sensible and realistic and will provide you with the reasons behind the instructions and will help you in the device-patient decision making process.

It is evidence based and also includes the real-life day-to-day nuances that don't always come to light during controlled research projects.  

It is free from pharmaceutical company support and delivers an unbiased appraisal of the current device market.

The course content is delivered via a combination of eLearning and one 3-hour live webinar delivered by Tracy Kirk

This course is accredited by the CPD Standards Office (London) and is offered free of charge.

This course is accredited by the CPD Standards Office (London) and is offered free of charge.

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