How environmentally friendly is your DMT?

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★★★★
COP26 Land Green & Ocean Blue  #37328c #8cdc73

Did you know that the world will use between 8 billion and 10 billion syringes for COVID-19 vaccinations alone? Apart from this, the world uses approximately 16 billion syringes per year. Over half of these are used outside of the health care system each year by individuals with diabetes, migraines, allergies, infertility, arthritis, HIV, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, psoriasis, or other conditions. 

With COP26 top of mind do you ever consider the environmental impact of your DMT? I have simply assumed that because they are medicines and prescribed for a serious disease the environmental impact is justified. Could the environmental impact of injectable or intravenous therapies be another reason to embrace oral treatments? Or is the environmental impact related to the manufacturing process of oral treatments greater? 

Is this something that you would consider to be an important factor when making a decision about which DMT to choose? For example, would a lower environmental impact of a 6-monthly ocrelizumab infusion be a factor in choosing it over a monthly subcutaneous injection of ofatumumab?  After all, both of these DMTs are anti-CD20. Would you not want to choose the one with the lowest environmental impact?

Some of you may already be aware of our ClinicSpeak DMT decision aid we run to help pwMS make decisions about which DMT to start. Do you think we should include the environmental impact of the various DMTs on the list of factors to consider when making a decision?

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General Disclaimer: Please note that the opinions expressed here are those of Professor Giovannoni and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry nor Barts Health NHS Trust and are not meant to be interpreted as personal clinical advice.