Asthma Biologic precision medicines for the treatment of severe eosinophilic asthma

Less than 50% of severe asthma patients have eosinophil-driven disease (Wenzel2005) and Biologics are designed to control the number of eosinophil cells (Asthma UK). Only 10.8% of eligible severe asthma patients have access to biologic medicines today in the UK.
Increasing the use of biologics appropriately would reduce use of Oral corticosteroids (OCS), associated with negative side effects, and exacerbations, causing 75,000 annual UK hospital admissions, each costing £1500.

Project overview

The four Asthma biologics on the RUP programme are currently procured through specialised commissioning and are recommended by NICE. The majority of eligible patients (>60%) remain hidden in primary care without access to specialist care or are sub optimally managed. Objectives of the programme are to raise awareness of the medicines and improve pathways to reduce exacerbations, reduce overuse of OCS and improve patient symptoms. We will improve the current pathway through a more proactive identification of patients hidden in primary care, through the introduction of risk stratification tools, inclusive policies for timely diagnosis, inhaler technique assessment and referral to specialist hubs. This will improve quality standards and remove duplicative diagnostic work and time to MDT decision.
The HIN will be working with its South London respiratory leads to identify where we can support with these activities. We have one year to create and deliver support projects until December 2021. In this first year of the programme, we are looking to invite leading practices to work with us to create an optimal model for wider adoption throughout the second year. This will be supported by leading clinicians such as Prof Andrew Menzies Gow and Gráinne d’Ancona. The programme is also being led by the British Lung Foundation, British Thoracic society, ERS/ATS, and selected respiratory specialists from around the UK.

HIN project staff will be given the scope of the project from NHSE/AAC on launch to canvas our members for interest/inclusion into the project and to apply for pathway transformation funding (PTF) to support local work considered in scope.

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