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New Campaign Aims To Improve Asthma Management

New Campaign Aims To Improve Asthma Management

If you use an inhaler to control your asthma, your medicine dosage may need adjusting.

That’s the central message of a new campaign, launched in Wellington today, that encourages people to effectively manage their asthma using the lowest effective dose of inhaled corticosteroids.

Concern has been raised both in New Zealand and internationally about the risks of using too high a dose of preventer medication in the long term. Some studies have linked high doses of inhaled corticosteroids with slow growth rates and other side effects, particularly in children.

The new campaign is co-ordinated by PHARMAC and supported by a broad cross section of the medical community, including general practitioners, asthma educators, nurses and pharmacists, and reflects the recommendations of the New Zealand Guidelines Group, released last year.

“There is growing concern at the effects of high doses of inhaled corticosteroids,” says campaign spokesman Professor Ian Town.

“This campaign aims to address this issue, and to help people with asthma gain better control of their condition using self management plans developed with their GP.

“Market research conducted in conjunction with this campaign shows that many people with asthma have low understanding of their condition and the treatments that are available. By working with primary health care teams and specialists it is hoped that these people will gain better control and learn that taking their asthma medicine at the right dose is the best way to keep in control of their asthma.”

As part of the campaign, GPs will be contacting people with asthma to invite them to discuss their management of the condition. Patient packs, including information on types of inhalers, peak flow meters, monitoring charts and asthma self-management plans, are also being provided.

The campaign is set to run for nine months and is supported by the following groups:

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand College of Practice Nurses NZNO Health Care Aotearoa [more]

2/Asthma campaign

New Zealand College of Pharmacists New Zealand Guidelines Group PHARMAC Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand Respiratory Nurses Section NZNO Pharmacy Guild of NZ (inc.) Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (NZ) Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.

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