Most adults and adolescents with asthma require a preventer inhaler. In Australia these patients are often prescribed a combination inhaler containing a corticosteroid and a long-acting beta 2 agonist. These combination inhalers increase the cost of treatment for patients and for government and may not provide extra benefit. Many patients can control their asthma using an inhaled corticosteroid alone for prevention of symptoms and flare-ups. Most of the benefits of inhaled corticosteroids are obtained at low doses. To achieve these benefits it is important to check that the patient is using their inhaler correctly and regularly. Shared decision making includes discussing the options for treatment. Offering a more affordable preventer regimen could aid adherence and lead to improved outcomes.
Reddel, H. K., Lembke, K. & Zwar, N. J. (2018). The cost of asthma medicines. Australian Prescriber, 41 (2), 34-36.