Locally NECS (North East Commisioning Support) have produced a briefing document to inform GP Practices and Pharmacies of some of the recommendations. The report can be downloaded below and the main actions for Pharmacies are listed below. The LPC urges all pharmacist to read it to ensure all steps are taken to reduce asthma deaths.
Summary of the Report
Recommendations were made with resulting actions for Pharmacies and GP practices.
1: Any patient prescribed more than 12 short-acting reliever inhalers in the previous 12 months needs an urgent review.
Pharmacy Action: Pharmacy staff to be vigilant for prescribing/dispensing time intervals and inhaler use. MUR to be offered and patient inhaler techniques to be checked
2: Assessment of inhaler technique to maximise benefit especially if a new device is prescribed.
Pharmacy Action: Additional counselling for all inhalers dispensed , technique checks and use of placebos if new device.
3: Non-adherence of preventer inhaled corticosteroids shown to increase risk of poor asthma control
Pharmacy Action: Pharmacy staff vigilance in prescribing/dispensing ‘time windows’ of reliever medication and MUR interventions where necessary.
4: Use of combination inhalers should be encouraged. Where LABA bronchodilators are prescribed for patients with asthma, they should be prescribed with an inhaled corticosteroid in a single combination inhaler.
Pharmacy Action: Vigilance when dispensing LABA inhalers to patients. If a patient is dispensed LABA monotherapy, the prescriber needs to be contacted asap and informed of the safety concerns and patient advised to make an asthma review at the GP.
Collaboration between all Healthcare professionals and patients can dramatically reduce asthma deaths with these 4 recommendations.