For the first time, a leading independent think tank has put a figure on the financial losses caused by uncontrolled asthma.
The report titled “Potential Limited: The Economic Cost of Uncontrolled Asthma”, developed by Demos, commissioned by Sanofi, has found that the respiratory condition strikes a significant blow to patients’ wages – people with uncontrolled asthma earn around £3,000 less per year than the average adult; renders patients around 10% less likely than the average person to be employed at all; and creates a £4.5bn hole in the UK economy.1
But why is this, and what must be done to address it?
Up to 10% of people in England have asthma and over half of them have experienced symptoms in the last 12 months, which the NHS defines as “uncontrolled” asthma. Its symptoms and side effects are all-too well-known: the breathlessness, coughing, wheezing, not to mention the distressing attacks that lead to frequent Accident and Emergency (A&E) admissions.2,3,4
When we consider the compound effect of these symptoms, it is not surprising that uncontrolled asthma can have a substantial impact on a person’s ability to study and work. Jess, a 25-year-old medical student from Leicester University, admits the condition has cast a dark shadow on what should be a promising outlook as a future doctor:
Sanofi hopes the report will bring a greater awareness and more profound understanding around the limitations that people with uncontrolled asthma face, and how a lack of support affects society as a whole. £3,000 can make a huge difference to an individual or family’s budget, and as the report highlights, there exists a great potential for the UK economy too. We are confident the government will be able to continue the good work undertaken so far to ensure that people with uncontrolled asthma are able to achieve their full potential in society.
To learn more about the economic impact of uncontrolled asthma, download the full report here.
- Demos, (2021). Potential Limited: The Economic Cost of Uncontrolled Asthma. Available at: https://demos.co.uk/project/potential-limited-the-economic-cost-of-uncontrolled-asthma. Last accessed: January 2021.
- NHS Digital, (2019). Quality and Outcomes Framework: Achievement, Prevalence and Exceptions (Asthma). Available at: from: https://app.powerbi.com/
view?r=eyJrIjoiODliN2M3NTQtOGFjMC00NjMxLTk5ZWMtMjg2MmQ0NDI3Nzk5IiwidCI6IjUwZjYwNzFmLWJiZmUtNDAxYS04ODAzLTY3Mzc0OGU2MjllMiIsImMiOjh9. Last accessed: January 2021.
- NHS Digital, (2018). Health Survey for England 2018 Asthma. Available at: http://healthsurvey.hscic.gov.uk/media/81643/HSE18-Asthma-rep.pdf. Last accessed: January 2021.
- Asthma UK, (2018). Slipping through the net: The reality facing patients with difficult and severe asthma. Available at: https://www.asthma.org.uk/6fc29048/globalassets/get-involved/external-affairs-campaigns/publications/severe-asthma-report/auk-severe-asthma-gh-final.pdf. Last accessed: January 2021.