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Free Content Lack of essential asthma medications in primary care centres in Kuwait

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SETTING: Asthma is a common chronic disease that can affect any age group. Available, affordable and effective asthma medications are essential to achieve good asthma control.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the availability of essential asthma medications in primary care centres and the cost of a yearÕs supply in Kuwait.

METHODS: A telephone survey was conducted in 36 centres. The cost of asthma medication was calculated based on estimated annual needs for the different grades of asthma severity.

RESULTS: None of the centres surveyed had adequate asthma medication: 12 (33%) had just adequate and 24 (67%) had below adequate supplies. All had intravenous hydrocortisone and nebulised bronchodilators, but none had high-dose inhaled steroids; 24 (67%) had neither oral steroids nor salbutamol inhalers. All had oral bronchodilators, aminophylline and theophylline. Family medical centres had more asthma medications. The annual cost of treating a case of moderate asthma in Kuwait is US$562.

CONCLUSION: Most of the primary care centres in Kuwait lack essential asthma medications. This creates over-reliance on hospital emergency departments and affects asthma management.
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Keywords: Kuwait; asthma; medications

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medicine, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait 2: Sabah Al-Naser Primary Care Centre, Kuwait, Kuwait

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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