GlobalData Analyst reveals two key issues in Asthma Treatment worldwide
World Asthma Day saw an uproar in UK media attention due to the National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD), published by the Royal College of Physicians, which revealed that due to substandard physician education, doctors and nurses were unable to recognize signs of poor asthma control; however, several other unmet needs must be addressed globally, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.
A number of official sources estimate that up to 5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma, and the NRAD reported that 1,200 die annually of the disease. Spain and Italy have approximately half the asthma mortality rate of the UK, while asthma prevalence in these two countries is also about half of that in the UK.
According to Valentina Gburcik, Ph.D., GlobalData's Senior Analyst covering Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders, the NRAD report failed to consider that the prevalence of asthma in the UK is among the highest in the world, so the number of asthma-related deaths is also naturally much higher.
The analyst continues: “Deeper comparative research into the epidemiology of asthma therefore needs to be done in order to demonstrate clearly what percentage of asthmatics die across different countries. Only then can reliable conclusions on the influence of different healthcare systems on asthma-related deaths be made.”
Additionally, Gburcik says that there are other key issues in asthma treatment, such as the heterogeneous nature of the disease, a lack of patient compliance with the standard therapies, and the high cost of medications.
The analyst says: “The economic burden of asthma is among the highest for non-communicable diseases in every country, and who bears these costs depends on the source of healthcare funding. Regardless of whether these costs are covered directly by patients, taxpayers or insurance companies, the high price of asthma medications is putting many lives at risk.”
Gburcik believes that lowering the cost of asthma medications and instituting a more personalized approach to treatment would lead to greater patient compliance and a reduced number of hospitalizations globally.