New drugs for asthma

Published on September 29, 2021   45 min

Other Talks in the Series: Periodic Reports: Advances in Clinical Interventions and Research Platforms

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Hello, I'm Peter Barnes from Imperial College London. I'm going to talk about some of the new drugs and treatment approaches for asthma.
We currently have very effective asthma treatments, but they could be improved in several ways in the future. Existing drugs do have side effects because they're not specific for asthma. There is a need for most specific asthma targeted therapies. Patients prefer tablets to inhalers because they're easier to use and it certainly easier to develop these treatments. There's evidence that there's improved compliance with oral versus inhaled medications. We still have a problem in managing severe asthma which by definition is not very responsive to current therapies. This reflects a relative steroids resistance in these patients. We don't have any drugs at the moment that are truly "disease modifying" which continue to control the disease when their stocked. In particular, we don't have a cure for asthma which is a once given treatment that switches off the disease completely.
Despite the fact that we have very effective treatments for asthma in the real world. This is a study looking at asthma control using questionnaires. What you can see is that around half of the patients are poorly controlled. In fact, only 28 percent in this survey were well controlled. Despite the fact that all of these patients had been prescribed inhaled steroids and most of these given inhaled steroid in combination with a long acting beach or agonists. This problem is seen throughout the world and still persist. Here is an even larger study of 8,000 asthmatics. Again, almost half are uncontrolled. Many patients are having to have courses of oral steroids and visit the emergency department and around 12 percent of patients are hospitalized. Now the reason for poor control of asthma despite prescription of effective treatments is that there is a low adherence particularly to inhaled steroid therapies which in the real world is less than 20 percent. But also there's a problem of poor inhaler technique. These two factors account for most of the poor asthma control in the real world.