Cost a barrier for life-saving asthma treatments, new study finds

By / 7 months ago / News Update / 23 Comments
Cost a barrier for life-saving asthma treatments, new study finds

Out-of-pocket costs are preventing many people from taking vital asthma medication, the new study says

Half of all adults and a third of children with asthma are missing out on essential treatment due to out-of-pocket costs, a new study has found.

A team of researchers led by The George Institute for Global Health and the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research surveyed 1400 people with asthma (adults with asthma and parents of children with asthma) across Australia and found that half of the adults and one-third of the children in the study were either decreasing or skipping doses of asthma medicines to make them last longer.

Senior Research Fellow Tracey-Lea Laba, of The George Institute, said the results published in the journal JACI : In Practice were especially concerning because around two-thirds of adults and children had poorly controlled asthma symptoms.

“Asthma affects around one in nine Australians and is one of the world’s leading causes of death and disability. We know that preventer inhalers can be incredibly effective at controlling symptoms and preventing people from being hospitalised or even from dying of asthma, yet our study has found that out-of-pocket costs are preventing Australians from accessing medicines which can be life-saving.”

The most commonly prescribed preventer treatments for asthma contain inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), which if taken regularly reduce the severity of the disease and the number of asthma related deaths. Unlike many other countries, Australia has a national medicines subsidy program through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), but most patients still have a co-payment. In Australia, patients with healthcare cards (pensioners, unemployed, single parents and people with a long term disability) pay $6.50 per prescription. Everyone else (around 40% of people with asthma) pays up to $40.30.

The study, which was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), NPS MedicineWise, and Asthma Australia, found out-of-pockets costs were leading many people to either skip or decrease dosages to make medicines last longer, and that young male adults were the most likely to under-use asthma treatments. This was compounded by GPs being largely unaware that out-of-pocket costs were a significant concern for many of their patients, or that some preventers had lower out-of-pocket costs for patients than others.

Key findings

  • 52.9% of adults and 34.3% of parents reported under-using treatments due to cost.
  • Three-quarters of children and adults had partly or poorly controlled asthma symptoms.
  • About 40% of adults with asthma had not used an ICS-containing medication in the previous year, despite Australian guidelines recommending that these should be taken by almost all adults with asthma.
  • 45% of adults and 64% of children had required urgent healthcare treatment for their asthma in the previous year.
  • While differences in income did not appear to be a driving factor in underuse, a sub-class of ‘working poor families’ with asthmatic children was identified as having higher levels of underusing medications for asthma.

Fellow author Professor Helen Reddel, of the Woolcock Institute, said it was clear that prescription costs were off-putting for many people with asthma in Australia.

“It all adds up and $40 a prescription is a lot of money for people on a budget. So you can start to understand why so many people with asthma are not taking preventer medications either correctly or at all.

“But asthma is a long-term disease and one where you really need to keep the inflammation under control by taking a preventative medicine and not just relying on short-term symptom relief from a blue inhaler. We need doctors to talk to their patients to stress that this Band-Aid approach does not work, and can leave them hospitalised or even worse as a result.”

The paper called for urgent interventions to promote discussions between patients and their GPs about the cost of medicines, including the availability of lower cost preventer treatments.

The study was funded by the NHMRC, NPS MedicineWise, and Asthma Australia and was a collaboration of The George Institute, The Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, UNSW Sydney, the University of Sydney and the University of South Australia.

Neeraj Vats

Neeraj Vats

The author didn't add any Information to his profile yet.

23 Comments

  • Waynedaf22. Jan, 2020

    Cialis cialis coupons printable canada cialis

  • Matbroomb19. Jan, 2020

    Can I Drink Alcohol On Amoxicillin cialis tablets for sale Over The Counter Deltasone Medication Coutu

  • Waynedaf19. Jan, 2020

    Cialis cialis vs viagra effectiveness cialis 200mg

  • Videos from Todd Snively17. Jan, 2020

    We stumbled over here coming from a different page and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to exploring your web page repeatedly.

  • Waynedaf15. Jan, 2020

    Cialis cialis coupons printable cost of cialis 20mg tablets

  • Rupa Escobareu13. Jan, 2020

    This is a truly important post. Thanks quest of posting this.

    What do you believe about my website: firma creare site

  • Johnny Muranob13. Jan, 2020

    This is a very respected post. Thanks for posting this.

    What do you believe nearby my website: https://crearesitebucurestii.blogspot.com/

  • Peterwal11. Jan, 2020

    Hello, row-boat thanks you http://cialisxtl.com looking against facts! cialis generic availability
    viagra for men

  • Todd Snively09. Jan, 2020

    This web page can be a walk-via for the entire info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely uncover it.

  • sling tv asksylphoflight.tumblr.com07. Jan, 2020

    This piece of writing is really a nice one it assists new the web viewers, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

  • tinyurl.com07. Jan, 2020

    Great article! This is the type of info that should
    be shared around the internet. Shame on the seek engines for
    no longer positioning this submit upper! Come on over and talk over with my
    web site . Thank you =)

  • EverettJag05. Jan, 2020

    Hello, recognition you looking for facts! viagra help http://viapwronline.com I repost in Facebook.
    viagra dosage

  • Abogados De Accidentes Carro Mesquite02. Jan, 2020

    Terrific work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)

  • п»їcialis01. Jan, 2020

    Hello, blame you in regard to tidings! I repost in Facebook

  • https://russellwebster.tumblr.com/31. Dec, 2019

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article.
    Many thanks for supplying these details.

  • ps4 games10. Dec, 2019

    It’s very simple to find out any matter on net as compared to textbooks,
    as I found this paragraph at this site.

  • ps4 games06. Dec, 2019

    I think this is one of the most significant information for me.

    And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The web site style is great,
    the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  • ps4 games06. Dec, 2019

    I every time spent my half an hour to read this weblog’s content daily along with a
    cup of coffee.

  • quest bars cheap02. Dec, 2019

    Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was
    wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?

    I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had issues
    with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.
    I would be great if you could point me in the direction of
    a good platform.

  • ps4 games28. Nov, 2019

    My brother recommended I might like this web site.
    He was once entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not believe simply how much time I had spent for this information!
    Thank you!

  • plenty of fish dating site26. Nov, 2019

    Thanks in favor of sharing such a good thought, piece of writing is fastidious,
    thats why i have read it completely

  • tinyurl.com24. Nov, 2019

    Good day! I just wish to give you a huge thumbs up for your excellent information you’ve got here on this
    post. I’ll be returning to your web site for more soon.

  • http://tinyurl.com24. Nov, 2019

    This page certainly has all of the information and facts I wanted concerning
    this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked. *