NICE Recommends New Injection for Uncontrolled Asthma

Nicky Broyd

October 18, 2021

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is recommending the injectable biologic dupilumab (Dupixent, Sanofi) as a maintenance therapy for uncontrolled asthma as an alternative to high-dose steroids.

The criteria limit treatment to patients who are 12 or over with type 2 inflammation who have had at least four exacerbations in the past 12 months, and who have not responded to standard maintenance treatments.

The treatment was already approved for use in Scotland.

Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation welcomed the announcement but said clear guidance is needed on treatment referrals.

Potential Game Changer

Director of Research and Innovation at Asthma UK, Dr Samantha Walker, said: "Today's news could be a real game-changer for the thousands of people with severe asthma across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland who live in constant fear of a life-threatening asthma attack happening at any time.

"Severe asthma can have a colossal impact on people’s lives. People are stuck in a never-ending cycle of hospital visits, which has a serious and debilitating impact on their home, work, and social life.

"While NICE’s decision to recommend dupilumab is cause for celebration, the sad fact is that four in five people with suspected severe asthma are not being referred to specialists for the treatments that could transform, and even save, their lives. Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation are calling for NICE to develop new, clear guidelines so healthcare professionals are confident about when to refer patients with possible severe asthma to get the specialist care they so desperately need."

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