Two important asthma education resources have been launched on the National Asthma Council Australia website following demand from health professionals to help them stay informed about new medications and treatment options.
The first is a new chart Selecting & Adjusting Asthma Medication for Adults & Adolescents that provides a visual reference to medications for each level of the popular “Selecting and adjusting medication for adults and adolescents’ diagram” from the Australian Asthma Handbook.
National Asthma Council Australia Director and respiratory physician Professor Peter Wark said there has been a demand for this resource since it was included in the Australian Asthma Handbook version 2.1 update.
“The chart is popular with GPs and pharmacists as there has been an explosion of so many different inhalers and devices on the market. This presents a real challenge and can cause confusion for both patients and health care workers.
“This chart now brings all of the information together in a visual format of medications and when to use them, in one place as a quick reference.
“We hope that GPs and pharmacists will use this visual aid to help patients understand the place of their therapy and to reinforce the important place of preventer therapy in the management of almost everyone with asthma,” he said.
The second resource is an updated version of The Asthma & COPD Medications chart, which offers a guide to the main types of asthma and COPD medications available in Australia. As well as including all the latest inhalers available in Australia, the updated version specifies the PBS reimbursement status of each medication as of April 2022.
Professor Wark said the wall chart is still one of the National Asthma Council's most popular print and downloadable resources.
“The chart brings together a quick reference guide that touches on the best approach to asthma and COPD and when to use the right inhalers at the right time.
“It is a useful education resource for health professionals to help with identification and explanation of different treatments.
“This is such a changing environment and keeping up-to-date is a major challenge, so it is important for GPs and pharmacists to keep informed about new medications and also existing medications where packaging or branding has changed.
“Even when patients don’t remember the name of their inhaler, they will recognise it. They can see where it should be placed in therapy and it is also an important aid also for those when English is not their first language,” he said.
PDF versions of both charts can be download directly from the NAC website and health professionals can order free hardcopies (A2 size) from the National Asthma Council Australia at firstname.lastname@example.org
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