Tuesday, April 7, 2020

ECP aid effort in asthma-hit state

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Early Career Pharmacist (ECP) Working Group Tasmanian branch is working to raise the profile of asthma and improve the accurate use of asthma inhalers.

The group, along with an Asthma Australia representative, will be conducting asthma inhaler technique assessments in Hobart’s Elizabeth Street Mall on Saturday, September 7.

The working group’s deputy chair, Shefali Parekh, says asthma is a significant health issue in Tasmania.

“According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the rates of many chronic health conditions, including asthma, were higher in Tasmania in 2017-18 than the national rate,” she said.

“What’s more, up to 90 per cent of patients use their inhaler devices incorrectly and are unaware of the fact.”

The aim of the campaign is to provide patients with resources and advice on how asthma affects the lungs and what asthma medications do, so they feel motivated to stay in control of their condition.

“Poor inhaler technique is quite common,” National Asthma Council Australia CEO Siobhan Brophy said. “However, the good news is that correcting patients’ inhaler technique has been shown to improve lung function, quality of life and asthma control, and that’s why education sessions such as these are so important in delivering best-practice asthma management and care.”

Asthma Australia CEO Michele Goldman says pharmacists are uniquely positioned at the forefront of healthcare, and great opportunity exists.

“Pharmacists should play an increased role in assisting with device technique and reinforcing adherence to asthma medication,” she said. “We’ve seen very positive results for patient outcomes when pharmacists are empowered to help.”

Tonia Crawford, a manager at Lung Foundation Australia, said: “It’s essential for people with asthma and COPD to use their inhaler devices correctly to receive the most benefit from their medications.

“Having health professionals, like pharmacists, in the community regularly checking people’s delivery device technique is critical to their wellbeing. We would encourage people to make the most of this opportunity to take their inhaler devices to the Elizabeth Street Mall and have a chat with the team.”

Ms Parekh added: “We’d like to acknowledge the generosity of the National Asthma Council, Lung Foundation Australia and Asthma Australia for providing PSA with resources for distribution at this event.”

Saturday, September 7 is the last day of National Asthma Week

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