Jean Bousquet

and 21 more

Background: The practice of allergology varies widely between countries, and the costs and sales for the treatment of rhinitis differ depending on practices and health systems. To understand these differences and their implications, the rhinitis market was studied in some of the EU countries. Methods: We conducted a pharmaco-epidemiological database analysis to assess the medications that were prescribed for allergic rhinitis in the years 2016, 2017 and 2018. We used the IQVIA platforms for prescribed medicines (MIDAS® - Meaningful Integration of Data, Analytics and Services) and for OTC medicines (OTC International Market Tracking - OTCims). We selected the five most important markets in the EU (France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain). The UK was excluded due to a lack of data. Results: Intra-nasal decongestants were excluded from the analyses because they are not prescribed for allergic rhinitis. For both Standard Units (SU) and costs, France is leading the other countries. In terms of SU, the four other countries are similar. For costs, Poland is lower than the three others. However, medication use differs largely. For 2018, in SU, intra-nasal corticosteroid is the first treatment in Poland (70.0%), France (51.3%), Spain (51.1%) and Germany (50.3%) whereas the Italian market is dominated by systemic anti-histamines (41.4%) followed by intra-nasal corticosteroids (30.1%). Results of other years were similar. Discussion: There are major differences between countries in terms of rhino-conjunctivitis medication usage.
To the Editor,We read carefully the research letter “Is asthma protective of COVID-19?” by Carli et al recently published.1Important topic for asthma patients in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic were considered, including that until recently weak evidence that patients with chronic respiratory disorders are at a lower risk of being infected or becoming severely ill with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).Reflecting only about previous reports from China and Italy where asthma was underrepresented in COVID-19 patients, the authors accept the heterogeneous condition that it is asthma, speculating that T2-immunity, interferon-mediated immune responses and increased number of eosinophils in the airways could have a protective effect against COVID-19 severity.1The epidemiology of COVID-19 is changing rapidly with new data. More recent reports from the United States of America and from several European countries, in particular the United Kingdom (UK), states a higher asthma prevalence in patients with COVID-19, suggesting that asthma is more common in COVID-19 patients than it was previously reported in Asia and in the first European surveys.2Data from the UK Biobank, a large prospective case-control study, found an asthma prevalence of 17,9% in 605 COVID-19 hospitalized patients, mostly of them adults, surpassing the prevalence of asthma in the general population.3Besides that, in the OpenSAFELY Collaborative Study (UK), it was found a significant increased risk of severe CoViD-19 in patients with asthma, including death, in particular related with the recent use of oral corticosteroid (OCS).4 These findings can indicate an increased asthma severity and/or poor control and, in accordance with data from previous coronavirus outbreaks, that systemic corticosteroids were associated with a higher viral load.5We agree with Carli et al1 that further studies focused on asthma and its different phenotypes are needed to provide a better understanding of the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with asthma.6 Nevertheless, for the moment, it seems crucial that patients with asthma do not stop their controller medication, that may lead to a higher risk of asthma exacerbations, increased OCS use and higher probability to emergency room access and hospitalization that represent themselves significant risk factors for coronavirus exposure and spread.In conclusion, according with the available data, patients with asthma must still be included in the high-risk groups for COVID-19 and more data are needed to understand the relationship between asthma and COVID-19.

CARMEN RIGGIONI

and 41 more

In December 2019, China reported the first cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This disease, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has developed into a pandemic. To date it has resulted in ~5.6 million confirmed cases and caused 353,334 related deaths worldwide. Unequivocally, the COVID-19 pandemic is the gravest health and socio-economic crisis of our time. In this context, numerous questions have emerged in demand of basic scientific information and evidence-based medical advice on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Although the majority of the patients show a very mild, self-limiting viral respiratory disease, many clinical manifestations in severe patients are unique to COVID-19, such as severe lymphopenia and eosinopenia, extensive pneumonia, a “cytokine storm” leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome, endothelitis, thrombo-embolic complications and multiorgan failure. The epidemiologic features of COVID-19 are distinctive and have changed throughout the pandemic. Vaccine and drug development studies and clinical trials are rapidly growing at an unprecedented speed. However, basic and clinical research on COVID-19-related topics should be based on more coordinated high-quality studies. This paper answers pressing questions, formulated by young clinicians and scientists, on SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 and allergy, focusing on the following topics: virology, immunology, diagnosis, management of patients with allergic disease and asthma, treatment, clinical trials, drug discovery, vaccine development and epidemiology. Over 140 questions were answered by experts in the field providing a comprehensive and practical overview of COVID-19 and allergic disease.

Rachel Tan

and 7 more

Allergic Rhinitis (AR) is a high burden chronic respiratory disease(1-4) affecting 19% of Australians; 29% in the Australian Capital Territory(ACT), Australia. Up to 70% of people with AR self-select their medication in Australian pharmacies; with only 15% selecting optimal medication(6). The Allergic Rhinitis Clinical Management Pathway(AR-CMaP) was developed as an evidence-based AR management guide to support pharmacists to optimise AR management in the pharmacy. This paper describes the method used to investigate the implementation of AR-CMaP by evaluating the impact of AR-CMaP on AR medication management and pharmacists’ practice and identifying the challenges associated with implementing AR-CMaP. This study took a mixed methods approach. The AR-CMaP was implemented and evaluated in a cohort of pharmacies in the ACT. Prior to the implementation of AR-CMaP, baseline data were collected in the pharmacy; pharmacists completed a needs assessment and a researcher administered questionnaires to people who purchased an AR-related product. The completed needs assessments individualised the AR-CMaP training and support tools provided to each participating pharmacy. Following pharmacists training, the AR-CMaP was implemented, pharmacists completed a second needs assessment and the questionnaire to people with AR were re-administered. Pharmacists were interviewed after all data collection was completed. There is an urgent need to evaluate the AR management services in community pharmacies. This study is the first to implement and evaluate an evidence-based clinical pathway in the pharmacy setting, in real life. Important insights into the practical aspects of AR management and clinical frameworks in the community pharmacy will be identified.