It is hard to believe that less than 7 years ago the respiratory market had a handful of inhaler devices and spacers and most practice nurses with a respiratory interest would probably remember the names and the appearance of the most commonly used ones (e.g. Spacers – Volumatic, Aerochamber; inhaler devices – pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDI), Accuhaler, Handihaler, Turbohaler, Easyhaler and a few others).
The list of inhaled medicines has grown. At the start of 2018, there were 106 treatment options to choose from, in 17 different devices. The influx to the market of new inhalers, spacers and medicines brings added complexity to medicine/device choice and inhaler technique education.
The NHS London Procurement Partnership (LPP) Responsible Respiratory Prescribing Group recognised a need to support patients and clinicians across the NHS and has developed a solution in the form of a website and mobile app providing information about every inhaler and spacer on the market in the UK, and to help clinicians choose between them. Filters can be used to select the right device and medicine for the patient as part of the shared decision-making process (Figure 1).