Economist Impact, GSK report finds asthma sufferers are unhappy with how condition is managed

Fewer than half of asthma patients think their condition is managed well, according to a new study sponsored by asthma drug maker GSK and conducted by creative think tank Economist Impact. The result is the FUture of RespiraTory HEalth Readiness (FURTHER) Initiative.

The report, "Every breath you take: Taking the patient voice FURTHER in their asthma journey" launched early September at the ERS International Congress 2022. Economist Impact surveyed asthma patients in 13 countries, asking how they felt about their current treatment and what hopes they had for future improvements.

Not only did it find that asthma diagnosis has increased by around 3.6% over the last 15 years, but, of the respondents, 56% said the pandemic made managing their asthma even more difficult. The report found a lot of general dissatisfaction around asthma care. More than 20% said they’d been to the hospital twice due to asthma, 30% couldn’t stick to their plan due to cost and nearly 75% said there was a need for better asthma education in their community.

Environmental factors such as climate change are adding to the problem, and it’s not only individuals who are affected by asthma. According to the study, when not controlled, there is an economic impact as well.

“Adults with frequent asthma exacerbations need more hospital care, and so are experiencing missed workdays and productivity losses at a higher rate (average 13 days a year)," the report's authors noted. "Compare that to those with controlled asthma, for whom these rates are similar to that of healthy people.“

GSK is heavily invested in asthma via its three-in-one inhaler Trelegy and its asthma injection Nucala—which is used for severe eosinophilic asthma, among other indications. They gained blockbuster status for the first time in 2021, with sales of 1.22 billion and 1.14 billion pounds sterling, respectively. The report however and GSK's work around is non-promotional and is not aimed at promoting its prescription medicines.