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Friday 25th May 2018

Asthma support programme

23rd October 2007

NHS Direct has confirmed they will be launching a telephone and advice service for those patients using a new type of therapy to treat their asthma.


Symbicort Maintenance and Reliever Therapy (SMART) is prescribed to asthma sufferers by their GPs. The helpline service will run in tandem with AstraZeneca (makers of the system), and will record information about how patients are finding the system and ensure they are self-administering the correct dose.

Those patients using SMART will be alerted to the service by their doctor. If patients are experiencing difficulties using the system or have side effects, they will be directed back to their GP for another appointment to discuss the problem.

The system gives people with asthma valuable support during their treatment and is a confidential service, as the data collected is only available to health advisors and the patient's GP.

A NHS Direct healthcare advisor will ask the patient specific questions in order to build a profile. Patients will then be reviewed by phone every six to twelve months and a report will be posted to their doctor.

Anne Joshua, associate director of Pharmacy at NHS Direct, said: “Our involvement in this programme forms part of our strategy to support people to manage their long-term conditions at home using telephone based care management systems – and medicines play a key role in managing long-term illnesses.

She added that the NHS wanted to run "similar patient support programmes with other pharmaceutical companies.?


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