Seeking Improved Care for People with Severe Asthma

Introducing BREATHLESS: The Story of Life with Severe Asthma,
a new documentary that shines a light on severe asthma to drive improvement in care 

Breathing is something that most of us take for granted. For the 34 million people living with severe asthma, this seemingly simple function can be a daily struggle.1,2

Severe asthma is a debilitating, potentially fatal disease that has a significant negative impact on patients’ lives, often leading to frequent, severe attacks, reduced lung function and a poor quality of life.3,4 Their lives are further disrupted by regular visits to the emergency room, hospital admissions and the potentially debilitating side effects of long-term exposure to oral corticosteroids.3,5

People with severe asthma require specialist care, as standard treatments alone often do not reduce the incidence of asthma attacks and/or their reliance on oral steroids.5 However, in most countries, patients do not routinely get access to the specialist care they deserve. BREATHLESS: The Story of Life with Severe Asthma is a new documentary that aims to change this.

BREATHLESS, directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker and supported by AstraZeneca, shares the compelling stories of people living with severe asthma and what access to specialist care can mean for them.  

We’re excited that the global respiratory community can now view BREATHLESS to gain a better understanding of severe asthma’s profound impact on patients’ lives, as well as the global need to improve care and provide greater access to severe asthma specialists. AstraZeneca is proud to be leading this campaign to drive change. We are calling upon physicians, policymakers and payers to take action to ensure severe asthma patients receive the care they deserve.

Alex de Giorgio-Miller VP Respiratory, BioPharmaceuticals Medical

BREATHLESS was developed as part of the PRECISION programme, sponsored by AstraZeneca. PRECISION calls on the policymaking community around the world to ensure that people living with severe asthma routinely receive the right care at the right time, in the most appropriate setting.

You can watch BREATHLESS and take action at

•  Share the BREATHLESS story to raise awareness of the burden of severe asthma and its negative impact on patients’ lives

•  Connect with advocates in your area to champion improvements in severe asthma care policy

•  Inform those with the power to make a difference on what actions they can take to improve patient care

•  Learn about the Severe Asthma Patient Rights, the six guiding principles experts agree patients deserve from their care

Together, we can help build awareness and understanding of the burden of unmet need in severe asthma and take important steps to improve outcomes and experiences for patients.   



  1. The Global Asthma Network. The Global Asthma Report 2018. Available at:
  2. Wenzel S. Severe Asthma in Adults. Am J Respir CritCareMed. 2005.172; 149-160
  3. Asthma UK. Severe Asthma: The unmet need and the global challenge. 2018. Available from: severe-asthma-report/auk_severeasthma_2017.pdf
  4. Foster JM, et al. “I have lost in every facet of my life”: the hidden burden of severe asthma. Eur Respir J 2017 50: 1700765
  5. Menzies-Gow A, et al. A Charter to Improve Patient Care in Severe Asthma. Adv Ther. 2018 35:1485–1496


Veeva ID: Z4-19428

Date of preparation: September 2019

Date of expiry: September 2021