Sanofi launches patient-directed guide to getting the best care for your severe asthma
Severe asthma is the most serious and life-threatening form of asthma1 and the impact of COVID-19 has posed additional challenges for the 200,000 people living with the condition2. As well as the possible increasing risk from COVID-19, access to treatment may be disrupted and any asthma attacks, with a subsequent need for hospitalisation could increase patient exposure to healthcare settings and therefore increase the risk of infection.3
Severe Asthma is, for some patients, a deadly condition. On average three people die from asthma every day4, placing Britain’s asthma death rate amongst the worst in Europe5. A national inquiry launched in 2014 sought to investigate why asthma still kills, yet every 10 seconds someone still has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack6.
In response to these shocking statistics, Sanofi has launched a guide aiming to empower patients with the knowledge and confidence to ask for the best care in order to decrease the risk to their quality of life.
We wanted to hear from those who live with the debilitating condition to understand what changes would make the biggest difference to their daily lives, so we held a workshop with severe asthma patients to find the answers. It was chaired by Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK.
“I’ve never had a formal diagnosis. I’ve been told my asthma’s not controlled and I’m on strongest medication I can be on. But I don’t know how common that is, how common it is to be on inhalers, going into hospital all the time”
Woman, 24, Manchester
These discussions were eye-opening, and inspired the publication of My Care, My Voice, a booklet designed to help patients communicate their needs to their healthcare professionals.
It sets out the four key principles people living with severe asthma should expect from their care – from access to care that stops you from being admitted to Accident & Emergency to developing a supportive dialogue with your healthcare professional in a non-judgmental environment – based on the real-life examples and experiences the patients shared with us.
"More needs to be done to ensure people with severe asthma can access the care they need. This document seeks to give them the confidence to ask for a referral so that they can have the quality of life they deserve."
Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Research & Innovation, Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation
If you, your friends or family with severe asthma are not receiving the care described in My Care, My Voice, you can use this document and Asthma UK's severe asthma guide, to discuss this with your medical team.
Download My Care, My Voice to read the principles in full
- Your asthma should not turn stairs into an obstacle
- You should not have to go to A&E
- Your medical team is there for you; speak and they will listen
- Don’t settle for the status quo
- Asthma UK (2020). What is severe asthma? Available from: https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/severe-asthma/what-is-severe-asthma/ Date accessed: September 2020
- https://www.asthma.org.uk/about/media/facts-and-statistics/ Date accessed: September 2020
- https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/asthma-and-covid-19-risks-and-management-considerations/ Date accessed: September 2020
- Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (2018). Essential facts, stats and quotes relating to asthma. Available from: https://psnc.org.uk/services-commissioning/essential-facts-stats-and-quotes-relating-to-asthma/ Date accessed: September 2020
- Asthma UK (2018) UK asthma death rates among worst in Europe. Available from: https://www.asthma.org.uk/about/media/news/press-release-uk-asthma-death-rates-among-worst-in-europe/ Date accessed: September 2020
- NHS (2018). Asthma attacks. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/asthma-attack/ Date accessed: September 2020
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Last page update September 2020