Information for the general public
Glenmark is committed to developing medicines to help treat respiratory conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Accessibility to medicines designed to treat these conditions can contribute to patients’ ability to experience more active lifestyles.1
Asthma is a chronic lung condition that affects people of all ages. It happens when the bronchial tubes (the channels that help air enter and leave the lungs) become inflamed and obstructed. People with asthma can have swollen (inflamed) and “sensitive” airways that become narrow and clogged with sticky mucus.1
Currently there is no cure for asthma, but treatment can control the symptoms and help you have a normal, active life. Due to the intermittent nature of asthma, treatments like inhalers and tablets focus on ‘preventing’ the inflammation and sensitivity of your airways, which stops your symptoms occurring, or ‘relieving’, which treats the symptoms of asthma when they occur.1
Asthma is characterised by symptoms such as wheezing, rattling or whistling of the breath, chest tightness, coughing and breathlessness. Symptoms can vary in severity and duration, with temporary worsening termed an asthma ‘attack’.1
Episodes can usually be controlled with treatment and most people will have normal, active lives. In severe cases, however, people may have ongoing problems.1,2
In severe attacks, symptoms can impact speech, sleep and eating, and may also result in other symptoms such as increased heart and breathing rates, fainting, drowsiness, exhaustion, dizziness and cyanosis (blue tinged skin and lips).1
Causes, triggers and duration of asthma attacks
The exact cause of asthma is unknown. While some asthma attacks may occur spontaneously, they may also be triggered by infections or illnesses (e.g. influenza, sinusitis, colds or upper respiratory infections), exposure to allergens (e.g. animal fur, pollens, house dust mites, mould) or irritants (smoke, pollution, cold air, damp), strenuous exercise, weather changes, or even emotions that impact on breathing patterns.1
Asthma attacks vary in duration depending on the cause and the degree of airway inflammation.2 Mild attacks may last a few minutes and resolve with treatment. More severe cases can last much longer and require hospitalisation. Figures show that 1,484 people died as a result of an asthma attack in the UK in 2017.3
Prevalence and burden
Asthma occurs in both children and adults. Although it may return later in life, childhood asthma can improve.1
While figures vary, estimates for the UK suggest around 5.4 million people are currently treated for asthma (4.3 million adults and 1.1 million children), with a cost to the NHS of £1-3 billion a year.3,4
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is a progressive, irreversible condition that limits airflow in the lungs. The lung tissue becomes inflamed and the airways narrow, making it harder to breathe. Although COPD is a progressive condition, treatment can help control the symptoms and slow progression.5
The term COPD refers to a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties, including emphysema (a condition where the air sacs in the lungs are damaged) and chronic bronchitis (long-term inflammation of the airways).6 People with COPD can have either of these conditions, but most people have both.5
People with COPD have symptoms that include breathlessness (especially when active), persistent productive coughing, persistent wheezing, and frequent chest infections.6
COPD cannot be cured but treatment and management options help. Your doctor may recommend options like stopping smoking, pulmonary rehabilitation (a specialised programme of education and exercise), inhalers and medicines to ease breathing, and, in a limited number of cases, surgery or lung transplant.6
Prevalence and burden
Although approximately 1.2 million people are currently living with diagnosed COPD, there may be many more without a diagnosis.5 In fact, there may be as many as 3 million people living with the disease in Great Britain,7 which costs the NHS an estimated £1.9 billion each year.4
Asthma and COPD are long-term conditions that can be challenging to live with, but there is plenty of support available. Here are some links to a few useful UK sites:
Report Adverse Events
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals is committed to patient safety. Our Global Drug Safety Risk Management function monitors, assesses and reports on the safety of our medicines throughout the products’ lifecycles, from discovery and research to post-approval, when they become available to patients.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has established a systematic process for collecting, analysing and reporting safety information in order to optimise patient safety in compliance with local and global guidance regulations.
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. Suspected adverse reactions can be reported via the Yellow Card Scheme at www.yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store. Glenmark can also be contacted to report suspected adverse reactions on 0800 458 0383 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To ask any questions about Glenmark products in the United Kingdom, please contact Glenmark Medical Information at email@example.com.
1. NHS Health A-Z. Asthma. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/ Accessed March 2021. 2. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI). Asthma Attack. Available at: https://acaai.org/asthma/symptoms/asthma-attack. Accessed March 2021. 3. Asthma UK. Asthma facts and statistics Available at: https://www.asthma.org.uk/about/media/facts-and-statistics/ Accessed March 2021. 4. British Lung Foundation. Estimating the economic burden of respiratory illness in the UK. Available at: https://www.blf.org.uk/policy/economic-burden Accessed March 2021. 5. British Lung Foundation. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) statistics. Available at: https://statistics.blf.org.uk/copd Accessed March 2021. 6. NHS Health A-Z. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-copd/ Accessed March 2021. 7. Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Work-related Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) statistics in Great Britain, 2020. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/copd.pdf Accessed March 2021.