Asthma

Patient Charter to kickstart improved care and outcomes of eosinophil-associated diseases


An international group of clinicians and patient advocates has proposed a Patient Charter to help improve the care of people with eosinophil-associated diseases (EADs).

The Charter covers the heterogeneous range of EADs including eosinophilic asthma, the less common eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases, and rare conditions, such as eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis and hypereosinophilic syndromes.

The authors, including the CEO of AusEE Sarah Gray, said the key issue was poor recognition of EADs by health care professionals which often leads to delays in receiving an accurate diagnosis, accessing specialist care, and receiving effective and safe treatments.

Unfortunately, many people with EADs often rely on long-term or intermittent oral corticosteroids (OCS) with all their potential acute and chronic adverse events.

The Charter, published in Advances in Therapy, said it was hoped that “recent progress in the field of severe asthma can become the foundation for the formation of an international working group with a common steering committee that can oversee disease specific sub-committees to drive, develop, and implement focused treatment recommendations for individual EADs.”

It called for greater awareness and education about EADs at all levels, noting that it could be challenging to find GPs and specialists who were knowledgeable about specific EADs.

“Unfortunately, the rarity of some of these conditions means EADs are often poorly understood and suboptimally treated.”

The authors said GPs should be referring patients to the relevant specialists, including haematology, allergy, pulmonary, cardiology, gastroenterology, when the clinical picture was consistent with an EAD.

It also noted that patients with EADs may have more than one EAD, additional comorbidities, and/or complex, multisystem expression of a single EAD.

“We recommend that people with EADs be managed by multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) with access to appropriate resources and personnel,” it said.

The Charter also called for timely access to safe and effective treatments.

It said the new generation of eosinophil-targeting biologic therapies offered promise of improved patient outcomes without the adverse effects associated with OCS use.

“Despite the advent of targeted, biological therapies, access to these new therapies can be limited, and a ‘fail-first’ approach to treatment can make these innovative treatments inaccessible to patients in a timely manner.”

Disclosures: The Patient Charter was initiated and funded by AstraZeneca and a number of the authors have received consulting or speaker fees from the company.

 

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