Spotlight on asthma in the Middle East, raising awareness of the condition and its growing prevalence
Dubai, U.A.E, 4th May 2015 – Mundipharma unveils new asthma combination therapy to help patients breathe easier. The combination therapy treatment has been launched in support of World Asthma Day encouraging patients to remember that “You Can Control Your Asthma”.
With more than 235 million affected by asthma globally, the illness continues to pose significant public health concerns . The disease represents a significant burden, not only in terms of morbidity and reduced quality of life of patients, but also in terms of healthcare costs. An international study of asthma and allergies in childhood, have shown that there is an increase in the global prevalence of asthma, particularly in children1 . In the U.A.E alone, the burden of asthma is unacceptably high with a majority of patients reporting acute attacks. An Asthma Insights and Reality survey in the Gulf and Near East (AIRGNE) showed that approximately 40% of asthmatic patients in the U.A.E reported unscheduled emergency visits and 64% reported sudden severe attacks of asthma, highlighting the need to increase awareness of asthma control amongst patients and doctors to reduce the burden of disease. The AIRGNE data also reports sickness absenteeism due to asthma in 30% adult and 52% of children suffering from asthma per year .
The AIRGNE study is the first report in the Gulf to identify the drain to the region’s health system and productivity if effective treatment is not available. It is estimated that approximately 88 million dirhams spent to treat patients with Asthma in Dubai annually.
“In the Middle East, 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,” said Dr Ashraf Allam, Regional Vice-President of Mundipharma for Middle East and Africa Region.
Patients need a medication that allows them to control their asthma and that assures them that it is working fast. “Many patients with asthma have poorly controlled symptoms, and particularly for those with severe disease, there is a need for improved treatments. Using an inhaler is a skill that must be learned and maintained. Poor inhaling technique leads to poor asthma control. Unfortunately, most patients are unable to use their inhalers correctly. What’s worse, most people with incorrect inhaling technique are unaware that they have a problem,” added Dr.Allam
A new approach: New asthma combination therapy
To reduce the severity and frequency of asthma symptoms, the new combination is now launched in UAE. This therapy was introduced by Mundipharma, and aimed at improving asthma control and minimizing the impact of asthma on patients’ lifestyle and productivity.
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.
Mundipharma’s new combination therapy for the long-term treatment of asthma brings together for the first time two effective asthma medications in one easy to use device that provides rapid and sustained bronchodilatory relief—in a single, modern aerosol inhaler that provides a consistently high fine particle fraction. 4,5,6
“We are delighted to share this new therapy for asthma with our patients and their families,” said Dr Allam “This new combination therapy can dramatically improve the quality of life for people who struggle with chronic asthma symptoms.”
This modern aerosol inhaler is capable of delivering a consistently high fine particle fraction for rapid relief of symptoms. This high fine particle faction leads to higher percentage of the medicines depositing into the lungs, including the small airways. Further, the inhaler provides a slower, gentler and warmer aerosol plume, making it easier for patients to use.4,5,6 It will come in three dose strengths, which will give doctors the flexibility in selecting and adjusting appropriate doses for their patients, depending on their asthma severity and level of control.
Involving nearly 5,000 people, clinical trials revealed that the new combination of has proven to be effective in alleviating asthma symptoms. The combination improved the percentage of symptom-free days while reducing sleep disturbances, among other things.