05 September 2016
Europe’s leading asthma experts have united behind a groundbreaking asthma research roadmap which sets out priorities to revolutionise diagnosis, treatment and care for the millions of people living with the condition.
Three people die each day from asthma attacks and there are 1 in 11 people living with the condition across the UK, yet asthma is still a relative mystery. Until now medical research into asthma diagnoses, treatment and care has been piecemeal and lacked strategic direction, and so Asthma UK has led a three-year collaboration of international clinical, academic, industry and patient experts to identify the most important unanswered questions in asthma and to ensure research investment is targeted in the most effective way.
Asthma UK launched the new asthma research roadmap at a parliamentary reception held at the European Respiratory Society’s International Congress on 5 September. This outlines 15 key areas for future asthma research, to focus investment on the most promising treatments, medical-technology devices, self-management tools and healthcare systems to address the currently unmet needs of people with asthma.
Kay Boycott, Chief Executive of Asthma UK, said: “The new roadmap holds huge potential to target investment into research that could truly revolutionise diagnosis, treatment and care for people with asthma. Every 10 seconds someone has a potentially fatal asthma attack and we still don’t know enough about the different ‘types’ of asthma which is essential if we are to find a cure.
“For too long asthma research has lacked the focus and investment it so desperately needs, and we see the asthma research roadmap as the catalyst for attracting the investment needed to make medical breakthroughs that will transform the lives of people with asthma.”
Welcoming the roadmap as a ‘once in a generation opportunity’ to improve the lives of people with asthma Stephen McPartland MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Respiratory Health said: “I wholeheartedly welcome this new asthma research roadmap as I believe it holds the potential to radically improve care and ultimately cure asthma. Drawing on the knowledge of many experts including globally renowned UK scientists, it marks a real step change in the drive to stop asthma attacks.”
The roadmap’s research priorities can be distilled into two key areas:
- Understanding the ‘types of asthma’: new mechanisms, biomarkers, diagnostics.
- Technology-enabled asthma management.
For more information please contact the Asthma UK media team on firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 7786 4949 (during office hours) or 07951 721393 (outside of office hours).
- The European Asthma Research and Innovation Partnership (EARIP), made up of 12 European-based organisations led by Asthma UK, aims to reduce asthma deaths in Europe by 25% within 10 years and by 50% within 20 years. The project will identify key gaps in asthma knowledge and address these using a pioneering and integrated approach to research, development and innovation across Europe, and ensure knowledge-based research quickly results in an improved quality of life for people with asthma.
About Asthma UK
- Asthma UK’s mission is to stop asthma attacks and cure asthma. We do this by funding world leading research, campaigning for improved care and supporting people to reduce their risk of a potentially life threatening asthma attack.
- Asthma UK is solely funded by public donations
- The Asthma UK Helpline is open weekdays from 9am to 5pm on 0300 222 5800.
- For more information about asthma please visit www.asthma.org.uk
Background information on asthma
- In the UK, 5.4 million people are currently receiving treatment for asthma: 1.1 million children (1 in 11) and 4.3 million adults (1 in 12).
- The UK has one of the highest prevalence rates for asthma in Europe, according to the ERS Whitebook.
- The UK has some of the highest asthma death rates in Western Europe according to the Death rates (all ages) for OECD nations and the World Health Organisation
- Three people die every day because of asthma; based on mortality data from Office for National Statistics (ONS) for England & Wales, General Register Office for Scotland, and Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (Northern Ireland). 1255 people died from asthma in 2013 – divided by 365, this works out as 3.4 people per day.
- Tragically, the National Review of Asthma Deaths found that two thirds of asthma deaths are preventable with good, basic care.
- 7 out of 10 people with asthma do not receive care that meets the most basic clinical standards.