Manila, 29 January 2015 – Afflicting some 235 million across the globe, asthma continues to pose significant public health concerns. In the Philippines, it is estimated that 6.2 percent of the population suffer from the disease, and the number is rising. When left unmanaged, asthma greatly affects patients’ quality of life and increases risk of hospitalization and mortality.
To meet the medication requirements of asthma patients, Mundipharma Distribution GmbH (Philippine Branch) or Mundipharma, is launching a new combination therapy for asthma maintenance treatment.
This new combination therapy has the potential to address certain gaps in patient behavior as revealed by a regional study conducted by Mundipharma together with respiratory experts across Asia and Research Partnership Healthcare, an agency that specializes in healthcare research.The REcognise Asthma and LInk to Symptoms and Experience Asia (REALISE Asia), which aims to assess asthma patients’ attitudes and behavior across Asia, highlighted an aspect of asthma management that is often overlooked: patients’ beliefs about their condition and their definition of controlled asthma. The study found that while 94% of Filipino respondents say they are confident in managing their condition, only 18% actually meet clinical guidelines for asthma control set by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA).
Furthermore, the results demonstrated that asthma management lacks immediacy and relevance to many patients. Ninety-two percent (92%) of respondents reported experiencing distressing symptoms like breathlessness, coughing, and wheezing, yet only 19% take their asthma medication daily as prescribed. Almost half of the respondents even find using their inhaler an inconvenience, and 41% don’t see the need for taking medication in the absence of symptoms.
Professor Aileen David-Wang, Chief of the Section of Pulmonary Medicine at Manila Doctors Hospital, and a member of the REALISE Asia Steering Committee laments this fact. “In the Philippines, patients consistently underestimate the seriousness of their asthma. They are less likely to pay attention to symptoms when they are not severe, which has profound effects on their daily lives, including work and school performance,” she says, underscoring that patients could manage their condition better and improve their quality of life.
Patients need a medication that allows them to control their asthma and that assures them that it is working fast. Further, it must be easy to use. According to Dr. Dina V. Diaz, Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine of the Lung Center of the Philippines…[pq]Using an inhaler is a skill that must be learned and maintained. Poor inhaler technique leads to poor asthma control.[/pq]
Unfortunately, most patients are unable to use their inhalers correctly. What’s worse, most people with incorrect technique are unaware that they have a problem.”
To lessen the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms, therefore, was the priority when Mundipharma developed fluticasone propionate/formoterol combination therapy. Leveraging on its long tradition of research and development, Mundipharma aimed at improving asthma treatment strategies, minimizing impact on patients’ lifestyle and productivity. Mundipharma has also embarked on the utilization of real life studies.
Professor David Price, Primary Care Respiratory Society Professor of Primary Care Respiratory Medicine at the University of Aberdeen specializes in real-life effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of medical interventions. He believes that real life studies suggest that the properties of this new inhaler may result in better asthma outcomes.
“With effective long-term therapy, we can positively impact patients’ quality of life and on the overall, ease the burden of asthma,” Price says. World Health Organization. (2013). Asthma. Retrieved January 22, 2015 from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs307/en/  Philippine College of Chest Physicians. (2009). Philippine Consensus Report on Asthma 2009. Retrieved January 21, 2015 from http://www.net-head.net/~pcporg/documents/CPGs/PCCP/PHILIPPINES%20Asthma%20Consensus%20Guidelines%202009.pdf