World Asthma Day

Mumbai, 4th May 2010

Early diagnosis and adherence to treatment crucial for effective and affordable asthma control

Cipla has created a website for asthma awareness and education

On the occasion of World Asthma Day today, Cipla the leading pharmaceutical company conducted a panel discussion with local doctors to discuss the importance of early diagnosis and adherence to treatment in effective and affordable asthma control. Patients of asthma who do not take their treatment regularly run the risk of asthma attacks which often requires admission to hospital and can even be life threatening. If asthma is treated as per guidelines provided by various national and international organizations, costs could of managing asthma be reduced tremendously both for the individual and the government.

The most effective asthma treatment – inhalation therapy is available in India at a price as low as Rs4 to Rs6 per day which means that a year’s supply of medicine is less than the cost of 1 night’s stay at the hospital. However, the doctors reinstated that lack of awareness on asthma in India prevents it from being diagnosed in the early stages and of the 30 million asthmatics in the country, most are unaware, undiagnosed or are being sub optimally treated for asthma. Further, it has been found that adherence to asthma medication regime is very poor and tends to falter after few months in both children and adults and the rate of non-adherence has been estimated to be around 50%.

Commenting on the current scenario of asthma in India, Doctors said, “Asthma is a chronic disease which requires long-term treatment. Many patients once they feel better stop treatment after some weeks. This can be dangerous since stopping treatment can lead to reactivation of the disease and precipitate an asthma attack. . There are many reasons why patients stop medication. These include unnecessary concerns about side effects, myths about inhaler devices, social stigmas and sometimes cost of medication. There are also several psychological barriers which lead to inhibitions such as dissatisfaction with health care professionals, inappropriate expectations, anger about one’s condition, underestimation of severity of the condition and complacent attitude towards health It is important that we overcome these barriers and understand the importance of inhalation therapy if we have to control asthma.”

Dr…….said, “It is important to diagnose asthma at an early stage as it helps preserve the condition of the lungs. Asthma usually manifests itself through symptoms like coughing, tightness in the chest, and wheezing but it is important to consider asthma as a diagnosis particularly if these symptoms are recurrent and consult a doctor at the earliest. using currently recommended treatment, asthma can be fully controlled and persons with asthma can lead a complete active life.”

To further support asthma patients and their families in understanding asthma, its symptoms, the triggers, and to remove the myths associated with the condition and its therapy , an extremely informative website – has been created by Cipla. This website will ensure that a chronic condition like asthma is discussed and given importance not only on World Asthma Day but all around the year.

About Asthma:
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder of the lungs in which there is inflammation (swelling) of the airways in our lungs. Due to this inflammation, the airways are narrowed and the lung becomes vulnerable to various allergens which act as triggers for an asthma attack. Dust, cold, pollen, furry pets, and viruses, smoking and air pollutants, and even emotional agitation act as triggers for an asthma attack. When a person comes in contact with a trigger, the inflamed airways are irritated leading to tightening of the muscles and excess mucus production which further constricts the passages, thereby inhibiting normal breathing and this at times could even turn fatal.

The usual manifestations of asthma are repeated episodes of chest tightness, difficulty in breathing and cough. In children asthma often manifests through a single symptom like cough which is more severe at night or early in the morning and remains persistent despite intake of various cough syrups and medications. Asthma symptoms vary from person to person and it is important to watch them carefully for a correct diagnosis by the doctor.
Although asthma is not curable, it is possible to gain complete control over it and lead a normal active life.

There are several therapies and forms of treatment for asthma available in the market. However, it has now been accepted globally that the best and safest way to take asthma medication is by inhalation as it reaches your lungs directly and starts acting immediately. But if you are on tablet or syrup the medication takes time to act as the medicine has to pass from the stomach to the blood and finally to the lungs. This could also result in several side effects. It is to be noted that in inhalation therapy, the dosage needed is up to 50 times lesser than syrups or tablets and far more effective.

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About Cipla:
Cipla laid foundations for the Indian pharma industry way back in 1935. At a time when the British ruled India and medicines were neither readily available nor affordable, Dr. K. A. Hamied founded Cipla towards making the country self-reliant in healthcare. He built Cipla with a promise “Never again will India be starved of essential drugs.”

Over the years Cipla has grown to be one of the most respected names in pharmaceuticals not just in India but worldwide. It’s state- of -the art R&D centre has given the country and the world many firsts. This includes the revolutionary AIDS cocktail for less than a dollar a day. With over 40 manufacturing units across the country, Cipla manufactures over 1200 products in various categories and has a presence in crop care and veterinary too.

With a turnover of over 5000 crores, Cipla today serves doctors and patients in over 176 countries. It has earned a name for maintaining one global standard across all its products and services. Cipla continues to support, improve and save millions of lives with its innovative drugs and devices.