The NHS have recently agreed to fund a new drug which aims to treat severe asthma. The injection of Benralizumab, which costs almost £2,000 per dose, will be used for those suffering from eosinophilic asthma. Following approval for NHS by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) the drug will be given to patients as an injection once every four weeks for three months and once every eight weeks thereafter.
The introduction of this medication has been welcomed by charities such as Asthma UK, as a means to reduce the risk of asthma attacks in those suffering from eosinophilic asthma which often does not respond well to traditional treatment, such as inhalers. Eosonphilic asthma is caused by increased white blood cells in the lungs and this new drug is designed to stop the body producing these.
Although it is not yet clear whether the drug will be available in Scotland, this is a huge step forward by those suffering from asthma. Eosinophilic asthma is a unique form of the condition, as it affects only 1.3 percent of the 5.4 million people living with the disease, and therefore continued development in the treatment of asthma in general is necessary. Although asthma is a common condition, it is incurable and the symptoms of it cannot be overstated – recent data has shown that deaths from asthma in the UK have risen by a quarter in the past five years.
We at Thompsons regularly deal with compensation claims on behalf of workers who have developed industrial asthma through their exposure to harmful dust or fumes at work. Occupational exposure is one of the single largest causes of the onset of asthma in adults and this can be triggered by exposure to many substances including wood dust, flour and grain, cleaning products, paint and glue – the list is almost endless. Many of our clients have to stop work or change their career due to their asthma and so further research and development into treatment of the condition is vital, particularly from the NHS in Scotland.
If you suffer from asthma and consider this condition has been caused or contributed to by exposure to harmful substances at work, then Talk to Thompsons.
Blog by Claire Campbell, Solicitor