A patient card being distributed to metropolitan pharmacies across Western Australia this month will give people with asthma more control over their asthma and may save lives.
Western Australia is the first Australian state to introduce a patient card for people with asthma that includes both an Asthma Action Plan and medication list.
The Department of Health, Respiratory Health Network has developed the Asthma Action Plan and Medication Record in response to the recommendation of the WA Health Asthma Model of Care.
The new card will include a list of important asthma reliever medications, enabling people to manage their own treatment in conjunction with health care professionals.
Asthma action plans have been proven to help people take greater control of their health, by identifying poorly controlled asthma, and reduce the number of fatal attacks among chronic sufferers.
With more than 400 deaths caused by asthma each year in Australia and many more people suffering ill health as a result, asthma impacts not only on the person with asthma but also their family, schooling and the workplace.
The new card is the result of the WA Health Asthma Model of Care and collaborative research by the Asthma Foundation of WA, Pharmacy at The University of Western Australia and the WA Health Department to find better ways to improve the care of people with asthma.
People with asthma generally see a GP for their ongoing care and a community pharmacist for their medication supply.
"The aim of the UWA research was to find better ways of providing care to people with asthma via the community pharmacist," said Associate Professor Rhonda Clifford of UWA's School of Biomedical, Biomolecular, and Chemical Sciences. "The card can be regularly reviewed by a community practitioner (GP, pharmacist, asthma educator or other health care professional).
People with asthma are encouraged to request a card from their GP, community pharmacist, the Asthma Foundation of WA or the WA Health Department and ask for their asthma to be reviewed by a general practitioner.
Research funding to assist in the implementation of new guidelines for the provision of short acting beta-agonists (pharmacy only medication to complement the Asthma Action Plan) has been provided by a grant from the Asthma Foundation of WA and the Janina Milek bequest to UWA, as well as other professional bodies.
Associate Professor Rhonda Clifford PhD FPS (+61 8) 6488 3135 / 7500 / (+61 4) 07 894 247
(UWA School of Biomedical, Biomolecular, and Chemical Sciences)
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716