Not all severe asthma patients are getting the specialist care they need.

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Living in Limbo: Asthma UK report1


Image summarising the limited access for severe asthma patients to biologic treatment and specialist care, plus the consequences of this unmet need

Patients should be under specialist asthma care if they have2,3:

  • Required high-dose therapies to control symptoms*
  • Been prescribed daily OCS* or two or more courses of oral or injected corticosteroids in the previous 12 months to control symptoms
  • Been admitted to hospital in the previous 12 months
  • Had two or more visits to the emergency department with an asthma attack in the previous 12 months

*BTS/SIGN guidance.

A&E, accident and emergency; BTS, British Thoracic Society; NRAD, National Review of Asthma Deaths; OCS, oral corticosteroids; SAA, severe allergic asthma; SIGN, Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network.


  1. Asthma UK. Living in Limbo: the scale of unmet need in difficult and severe asthma. 2019. Available at: [Accessed April 2020].
  2. Royal College of Physicians. National Review of Asthma Deaths: why asthma still kills. 2015. Available at: [Accessed April 2020].
  3. British Thoracic Society. BTS/SIGN British Guideline on the Management of Asthma. 2019. Available at: [Accessed April 2020].
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XSA20-C019 July 2020.

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