In two countries with a Western lifestyle, similar health systems, and similar asthma prevalence, investigators observed differences in asthma management and treatment costs, despite comparable outcomes.
More than 3000 randomly-selected participants with asthma in Australia and New Zealand completed an online survey focused on asthma symptom control, medication use, and doctors' visits over the period of one year. Although more costly medication was commonly used in Australia, similar treatment outcomes were observed in New Zealand where there was greater use of cheaper medication and better medication adherence.
"These results highlight the complexity of factors that contribute to the prescribing and use of asthma medications in the community. The findings are relevant to discussions about how differences in policy and practice can affect outcomes for people with asthma," said the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research's Prof. Helen Reddel, lead author of the Respirology study.