The economic burden of asthma is estimated to be nearly $81 billion in the 28 countries of the European Union.
A new study by the University of Kent, in England, showed interventions by community pharmacists improve asthma control in patients leading to major cost benefits.
The economic burden of asthma is estimated to be nearly $81 billion in the 28 countries of the European Union, researchers report in the study.
Research by the Medway School of Pharmacy at the University of Kent and the University of Greenwich found that community pharmacists who conduct reviews with asthma patients on the way they use their medicines improved the patients' asthma control.
This improved asthma control produced a cost-effective benefit compared to standard care methods.
Researchers conducted clinical trials of a community-pharmacist intervention known as I-MUHR for asthma with 283 pharmacists and 1,263 patients in Italy.
I-MUHR is a private, structured interview between pharmacists and their patients about asthma symptoms, medicine use, attitude regarding medicines, identification of pharmaceutical care issues and adherence to prescribed medication.
The study shows that after three months, patients who received the I-MUHR intervention were 76 percent more likely to achieve good asthma control than patients in the control group.
The I-MUHR intervention reduced the average number of active ingredients among patients' medications and improved self-reported adherence to treatment.
The study also found that the I-MUHR intervention had a 100 percent probability of being more cost-effective than traditional treatments after nine months.
The study was published in BMC Health Services Research.