Success Stories:

Improving patient adherence to asthma treatments in the United Kingdom


The UK has one of the highest asthma prevalences worldwide

An estimated 22% of UK adults aged 18 to 45 years have wheezing symptoms, and 17% have a doctor diagnosis of asthma

Asthma kills three people each day in the UK - one of the highest death rates for asthma in Europe. 90% of these premature deaths can be prevented

The Challenge

  • Compliance to asthma treatment is generally poor

  • In one study of primary non-adherence in patients with asthma, only 70% of prescriptions were collected

  • While patients are more likely to use their reliever inhaler, because of rapidly perceived benefit, their use of inhaled corticosteroids, which have no immediately obvious effect, is generally poor. One study reported that only 57% of prescribed inhaled corticosteroids were used.
How We Helped

Our clinical team developed evidence-based clinical messages tackling these issues of adherence

We engaged 50% of our UK network (~6k pharmacies) to address this challenge

Pharmacists delivered clinical patient education messages at the point of dispensing the target asthma medication. The messages advised patients on how to get the most out of their treatment


  • Using data from our pharmacies and comparing to a control set, we were able to measure the trend line-based impact of the programme.

  • This analysis showed that dispensed volumes of the target asthma medication increased by up to 15% during a five-month pilot patient support programme.

  • When the full support programme was instigated, dispensed volumes in our active pharmacies grew by up to 35% more than the control (inactive) pharmacies, suggesting the programme had a significant impact on medication compliance.

Impact on Dispensed Volumes

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