National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
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NICE appraisal of inhaled corticosteroids for the treatment of chronic asthma in adults and children aged 12 years and over

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has today (26 March) published final guidance on the use of inhaled corticosteroids for the treatment of chronic asthma in adults and children aged 12 years and over.

NICE recommends:

•For adults and children aged 12 years and older with chronic asthma in whom treatment with an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) is considered appropriate, the least costly product that is suitable for an individual, within its marketing authorisation, is recommended.

•For adults and children aged 12 years and older with chronic asthma in whom treatment with an ICS and long-acting beta-2 agonist (LABA) is considered appropriate, the following apply.

o The use of a combination device within its marketing authorisation is recommended as an option.

o The decision to use a combination device or the two agents in separate devices should be made on an individual basis, taking into consideration therapeutic need and the likelihood of treatment adherence.

oIf a combination device is chosen then the least costly device that is suitable for the individual is recommended.

Professor Peter Littlejohns, NICE Clinical and Public Health Director and Executive Lead for this guidance said: “Asthma usually develops in childhood but may start at any age. Poorly controlled asthma can have a significant impact on the quality of life of the affected person and their family. The independent advisory committee has concluded that inhaled corticosteroids are both a good use of NHS resources and an effective way of controlling the symptoms of asthma. Where appropriate the least costly inhaled corticosteroid product that can be used effectively by an individual should be chosen.”

Notes to Editors

About NICE


1.The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.

2.NICE produces guidance in three areas of health:

public health – guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health for those working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public and voluntary sector

health technologies – guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments and procedures within the NHS

clinical practice – guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS.

About the guidance


3.The inhaled corticosteroids (adults and children over 12) guidance is available at www.nice.org.uk/TA138.

4.Asthma is a chronic condition that causes symptoms such as shortness of breath (dyspnoea), chest tightness, wheezing, sputum production and cough associated with variable airflow obstruction and airway hyper-responsiveness. It is estimated that there are 5.2 million people with asthma in the UK, of whom approximately 2.9 million are women and girls and 2.3 million are men and boys. This includes 0.7 million people older than 65 years and 0.6 million teenagers