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NICE publish updated medicines safety priorities for Asthma

For Asthma and Asthma (eosinophilic)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have updated the medicines safety priorities for asthma.

The update covers:
  • National review of asthma deaths
  • Self-management and reviews
  • Decreasing maintenance therapy
  • Practice examples and shared learning
Whilst not specific guidance, the therapeutic topic of asthma summarises the evidence base on asthma: medicines safety priorities.


  • National review of asthma deaths - The Royal College of Physicians' National review of asthma deaths (NRAD) looked into the circumstances surrounding deaths from asthma in the UK for a 12‑month period from February 2012 to January 2013. Data were available for analysis on 195 people who were thought to have died from asthma during the review period.
  • Self-management and reviews - The NICE guideline on asthma: diagnosis, monitoring and chronic asthma management recommends that a self-management programme, comprising a written personalised action plan and education, is offered to adults, young people and children aged 5 and over with a diagnosis of asthma (and their families or carers, if appropriate).
  • Decreasing maintenance therapy - It is important to ensure that all people with asthma are treated optimally; this includes increasing and decreasing treatment appropriately by moving up and down the different treatment options. To minimise side effects from ICS in particular, the NICE guideline on asthma: diagnosis, monitoring and chronic asthma management recommends that, decreasing maintenance therapy can be considered when a person's asthma has been controlled with their current maintenance therapy for at least 3 months.
  • Practice examples and shared learning - There are several NICE shared learning case studies relating to asthma, showing how NICE guidance and standards have been put into practice by some NHS organisations:
    - Modern innovative solutions improving outcomes in asthma breathlessness and COPD (MISSION ABC).
    - Impact of a pharmacist-led asthma and COPD respiratory clinic in general practice.
    - Integrated 24-hour children and young people's asthma service: reducing unnecessary hospital attendance.

Links available in full article

© NICE [2019] Asthma: medicines safety priorities Available from: See Link below. All rights reserved. Subject to Notice of rights
NICE guidance is prepared for the National Health Service in England. All NICE guidance is subject to regular review and may be updated or withdrawn. NICE accepts no responsibility for the use of its content in this product/publication.

The information provided by NICE was accurate at the time this article was issued.

NICE therapeutic topic - Asthma: medicines safety priorities

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions (side effects) after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals or patients are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.

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