Media Releases

Latest treatment options for patients with severe asthma

11 Dec 2018

The National Asthma Council Australia today released a new evidence-based resource for primary care health professionals to help explain the latest treatment options for patients with severe asthma.

The Monoclonal antibody therapy for severe asthma information paper was developed based on the latest available evidence and implications for practice in primary care.

The emergence of monoclonal antibody therapies has provided new options for treating patients with severe asthma whose asthma is uncontrolled despite optimised standard treatment. The therapy can reduce flare-ups, improve asthma symptoms and quality of life, and reduce corticosteroid requirements in patients with severe asthma.

Although these medications may be initiated only by certain specialists, it is important that primary care health professionals understand the role of these new medications and how their patients may benefit.

Omalizumab, mepolizumab and benralizumab are the monoclonal antibody therapies currently available for use in the treatment of people with severe asthma in Australia. They target inflammatory pathways that activate immune responses leading to airway inflammation.

Professor Peter Wark, expert panel member and respiratory physician said: “It’s exciting to see the introduction of new treatment options for people with severe asthma."

“It is important to note that patients on monoclonal antibody therapy still require usual asthma care from their GP. They should be taking their preventer medicines regularly, and their GP should continue to check adherence and inhaler technique from time to time.”

The paper also incorporates recent changes to PBS criteria for monoclonal antibody therapies.

Key changes in the general criteria include that patients must either have been treated by the same specialist for at least six months (a reduction from 12 months), or have been diagnosed by a multidisciplinary severe asthma clinic team.

The Monoclonal antibody therapy for severe asthma information paper for health professionals is available to download online and order in hardcopy through the National Asthma Council Australia website.

Copies can also be obtained from GSK Australia representatives.

Development of the resource was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from GSK Australia. The National Asthma Council Australia maintained strict editorial independence.

The National Asthma Council Australia has a range of patient support services and resources available. For information, visit  

Download the Monoclonal antibody therapy for severe asthma information paper here



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