What is it about?

This paper looks at the current approach to asthma management in Canada. We highlight the reliance on inhaled corticosteroids for daily and short course use. While these oral therapies have long been the gold standard treatment they are not effective for all patients and have significant side effects. Our review focused on the 5-10% of patients living with severe asthma and the implications of utilizing new biological treatment methods to improve quality of life.

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Why is it important?

While many factors can complicate asthma symptoms very few patients are referred to a specialist to achieve optimal care. This leads to poor health outcomes and lower quality of life. A secondary risk of suboptimal care is increased use of prednisone which comes with associated risks of adverse health outcomes. With effective biological treatments available for severe asthma there are clear next steps to advance the quality of care. To implement biologics at scale, a cohesive electronic filing of client records is needed and increased awareness of treatment options among primary care teams as well as other suggestions noted in this review.


While severe asthma only accounts for 5-10% of patients they represent a significant burden on the health care system. Improving care can help to reduce costs and significantly improve the quality of life for patients.

Professor Kenneth R Chapman
University of Toronto

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Targeted management of severe asthma: Developing a Canadian approach, Canadian Journal of Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, December 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/24745332.2019.1678443.
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