By: 14 May 2024
First ever medicine decommissioned on environmental grounds

NHS England has decommissioned desflurane because of its global warming potential.

Desflurane is a general anaesthetic that has a global warming potential 2,500  times greater than carbon dioxide. To support the policy, NICE have published an evidence summary on desflurane for maintenance of anaesthesia. It informed NHS England’s policy on the exceptional circumstances in which continuing to use desflurane is acceptable to ensure patient outcomes are not compromised.

NICE plays an important and influential role in shaping which treatments, technologies and processes the NHS adopts, setting best practice for healthcare professionals. This makes NICE well placed to support the NHS’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040 for direct emissions and 2045 for indirect emissions.

To read the full Guidance: Desflurane decommissioning and clinical use, visit: NHS England

To read the evidence summary from NICE, visit: NICE

Image: Canva