Redefining new standards of care for people living with severe asthma


Christopher McPherson,Global Policy Lead, Respiratory & Immunology Biologics

The publication of the first Global Quality Standard for Severe Asthma

Severe asthma patients may be at higher risk of worse outcomes from COVID-19. 1,2,3 This has led to healthcare systems introducing measures to safeguard people living with this disease. 4 But, despite an unprecedented focus on care transformation for respiratory disease, there are still significant challenges, with multiple gaps in systems, patient pathways and behaviours. 5

To help address these challenges and support improved access and delivery of high quality of care for patients, we have achieved an important milestone for the PRECISION programme - the publication of the first Global Quality Standard for Severe Asthma.

The Global Quality Standard has been developed by external leaders in the severe asthma community: experts who form the global PRECISION Improve Access Taskforce. Together, we have developed a detailed blueprint of the changes that systems must undertake to reduce referral delays and ensure access to quality specialist care for people with suspected or diagnosed severe asthma.

Published in the latest issue of Advances in Therapy, the Global Quality Standard is grounded in the latest clinical evidence and published guidelines for severe asthma care.  It contains four key elements that are critical to deliver the best possible care for patients and to reduce the burden of the condition on the system.

Supported by metrics for performance improvements and strategies for local market adaptation, the Global Quality Standard marks a significant step forward in supporting local PRECISION policy engagement.

PRECISION has the ambitious goal of increasing by 50% the number of severe asthma patients receiving timely, high-quality specialist care by the end of this decade. As a leading voice in Respiratory, we believe that policy reform is fundamental to achieving change of that scale.

The recommendations outlined within the Global Quality Standard will sit at the heart of our domestic engagement with policymakers, as we seek to deliver continued and sustainable transformation of asthma care.

Dr John Haughney Global Quality Standard for Severe Asthma lead author and Clinical Director of the NHS Clinical Research Facilities, Glasgow, UK



1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). People with moderate to severe asthma. Accessed 20 August 2020.

2. Global Allergy & Airways Patient Platform. COVID-19 Statement & Resources. Accessed 20 August 2020.

3. NHS Digital. Coronavirus (COVID-19): Shielded patients list. Accessed 20 August 2020.

4. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. COVID-19 rapid guideline: severe asthma. NG166. Accessed 20 August 2020.

5. Haughney J, Winders TA, Holmes S, Chanez P, Saul H, Menzies-Gow A. Global Quality Standard for Identification and Management of Severe Asthma. Advances in Therapy. 2020 Jul 28:1-5.