Asthma Society of Ireland calls on the government for subsidisation of life-saving asthma medications

The Asthma Society of Ireland this week released its Pre-Budget Submission 2021, which presents to the Government five asks to be considered in the 2021 Budget that it states could greatly improve the lives of people with asthma in Ireland.

The Asthma Society stated it is "calling upon the Government for a subsidisation of all asthma medications outlined in steps 1 to 4 of GINA guidelines, which categorise medications for the main treatment of asthma for those with mild to moderate asthma.

"Currently 380,000 people in Ireland have asthma and 890,000 will develop the condition in their lifetime. It is estimated that more than half of people living with asthma do not have their disease under control, putting them at a higher risk of asthma attacks/exacerbations, hospitalisations, absence from school and work, and even dying due to their condition. One person dies from asthma every week and an estimated 90% of these deaths are preventable. An essential component of asthma control is medication compliance."

Emily Blennerhasset, Interim CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland, said: "When a person with asthma does not have access to the proper care or medication, there is a higher risk that they will become unwell.

"This affects their quality of life, increases pressure on the healthcare system, increases absenteeism from school and work, and is financially very costly to the State. Due to the huge burden imposed on the state by asthma, it makes sense for the Government to step up and make Ireland more asthma-friendly.

"Our Pre-Budget Submission shows the basic steps that should be taken by the Government when compiling the 2021 Budget. We received a huge amount of support from political candidates towards our 2020 General Election #AsthmaMatters manifesto, where we asked for the recognition of asthma as a long-term illness and its inclusion under the Long Term Illness Scheme.

"However, it has been made clear that this is not an option for asthma patients. That is why we are calling for a subsidisation of all asthma mediation outlined in steps 1 to 4 of GINA guidelines. These medications are essential for people with asthma and not having them has a huge negative effect on their health."

The five asks of the Asthma Society Pre-Budget Submission are: (1 ) Introduce universal full subsidisation of asthma medications; (2 ) Expand national fund for severe asthma medication; (3 ) Fund the extension of the current asthma management programme for all people with asthma; (4 ) Increase the number of registered Advanced Nurse Practitioners to meet two per cent Department of Health guidelines and (5 ) Provide the Asthma Society of Ireland with annual core funding.


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