More than 60% of the asthmatic population does not control the disease despite having enough medications to do so. This is the conclusion reached by experts gathered in the Asthma 360 initiative, a project that aspires to find a solution to the lack of control of asthma, which covers 2% of public health resources.
Asthma is a respiratory disease that can be triggered, not only by genetic predisposition, but by different agents, many of them preventable.According to specialists, obesity, smoking or pollution are some of those responsible for aggravating and controlling this disease and even causing it. That is, people who were not meant to be asthmatic end up being so.
To combat these fronts and seek a solution to the uncontrolled asthma , the pharmaceutical AstraZeneca has recently presented ‘ Asthma 360, a strategic initiative for the Comprehensive Approach to Asthma’, a document that offers solutions and recommendations in order to improve the quality of life of patients.
According to the World Health Organization, asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder characterized by recurrent attacks of dyspnea (choking or shortness of breath) and wheezing (high-pitched sounds heard when breathing).
Asthma is one of the most frequent disease and affects approximately 5% of the adult population and 10% in children.With the support of twelve scientific societies and the Spanish Federation of Patients with Allergies and Respiratory Diseases (FENAER), the Asthma 360 project arose from the need to treat the pathology from a multidisciplinary perspective and optimize the control of the disease.
Without Education There Is No Medication
Despite the fact that a “large arsenal of drugs” is made available to patients, many professionals agree that this has not served to keep the disease under control.
” It is estimated that up to 63.9% of asthmatics are not controlled, ” says Luis Cordero, director of Institutional Relations and Market Access at AstraZeneca.
Asthma has no cure, but Cordero assures that asthmatics can lead a normal life as long as they maintain adequate treatment. But this is not always the case. Dr. Isabel Urrutia, specialist in Pneumology and head of the Asthma and Occupational-Environmental Diseases Unit of the Pneumology Service of the Galdakao-Usansolo Hospital (Vizcaya), points out that patients still do not have the necessary information about this pathology, so It has caused a lack of adherence to medication.
Urrutia reiterates that one of the basic factors is primary care, assistance that has been collapsed by COVID-19 and “is now forced to displace other equally relevant diseases.”
For this reason, this doctor recalls that the Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) dedicates 2020-2021 to pollution, climate change and the loss of respiratory health, “more present than ever”.
A Multidisciplinary Approach
As it is a chronic pathology, specialists explain, asthma requires a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose it early and ensure appropriate treatment and monitoring. Its approach in multidisciplinary units constitutes a fundamental element to guarantee quality care. That is, not only have pulmonologists but also psychologists, allergists or hospital pharmacists, among other professionals, in order to determine what other factors influence the disease.
Lack of Control Of Asthma Quadruples Healthcare Costs
The mismanagement of the disease can generate great economic costs for the National Health System. The Health economist of the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Álvaro Hidalgo, assures that, at present, the global cost of asthma is 1,480 million euros per year. Which is equivalent to 2 percent of the resources of public health.
For this reason, Hidalgo insists that ” early diagnosis, good coordination and follow-up, and access to immediate medication, are the essential pillars to reduce costs .”Despite the fact that COVID-19 does not affect asthma like the flu could , health professionals emphasize that, “now more than ever”, asthmatics must follow the treatment correctly so as not to degenerate into something worse.