By Suzanne Pender
The Asthma Society of Ireland is calling on the government to subsidise asthma medication to ensure sufferers access proper care and medication.
The society this week released its pre-budget submission 2021, which presents to the government five asks to be considered in the 2021 budget that could greatly improve the lives of people with asthma in Ireland.
It is calling for a subsidisation of all asthma medications outlined in steps one to four 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.
“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,” said Emily Blennerhasset, interim CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland.
“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.”