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New report highlights inadequacies in treatment for people with asthma

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The Global Asthma Report 2018, launched today (31 August 2018) by the Global Asthma Network, highlights that around 1000 people each day are dying from asthma, yet many people, especially in low- and middle-income countries, are unable to access the quality-assured essential asthma medicines and care they need.

Professor Asher, Chair of the Global Asthma Network, said: “Quality-assured essential asthma medicines are not available to many people with asthma. Guaranteed access to affordable quality-assured essential asthma medicines is vital to improving asthma outcomes.”

Professor Kevin Mortimer, Director of Lung Health at The Union, and contributing author to the report said: “Asthma is the commonest chronic disease of childhood and one of the commonest chronic diseases in adulthood globally.  Well over 300 million people have asthma, the vast majority of whom live in low- and middle-income countries where access to basic effective asthma care is limited. Highly effective asthma controller treatments have been available for half a century but are yet to reach the great majority of the world’s poor with asthma. Addressing this major global health inequality is a key priority for The Union. The Global Asthma Report 2018 is an important step in this direction.” 

The report contains a review of asthma as a global issue and includes several key recommendations to the World Health Organization (WHO), governments, health authorities, health professionals, professional societies and patient organisations. The report comes at a critical time, just weeks ahead of the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases.

“Political commitment and action are required to make the burden of asthma a thing of the past,” says Professor Asher. “If these recommendations were followed, the serious burden of asthma globally would be reduced.”

The Global Asthma Network was established in 2012 to improve asthma care globally, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries, through enhanced surveillance, research collaboration, capacity building and access to quality-assured essential medicines. The Network is a collaboration between individuals from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) and The Union. For more information