380,000 people in Ireland 01 and 300 million people globally - equivalent to almost the entire population of the USA - suffer from asthma. 02 Chronic respiratory diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kill more than four million people every year and affect hundreds of millions more.02 The economic and societal burden is immense.
The respiratory system has several ways of protecting itself from the risks that come with constant exposure to the air, microbes and pollutants. However, these don’t always work, meaning that infections of the respiratory tract are common. They include the common cold, tonsillitis, laryngitis and flu. While sometimes serious, these infections are generally treatable at home with painkillers and plenty of rest, without the need to see your GP.
Other more serious disorders of the respiratory system are usually treated by a respiratory or lung specialist. These conditions include:
- Obstructive conditions, where the airflow to the lungs is obstructed through narrowing of the airways (including emphysema, bronchitis and asthma)
- Restrictive conditions, where the lungs are unable to expand sufficiently as tissue is gradually replaced by scar tissue. This can be caused by a range of factors, including prolonged exposure to asbestos or radiation, as a result of another disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, or due to taking certain medicines.
Patients typically use reliever and preventer inhalers to manage their asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in devices like pressurised metered dose inhalers (MDIs), breath-activated inhalers (BA MDIs and dry powder inhalers), and inhalers with spacer devices or nebulisers.
Asthma is a common and potentially serious chronic disease that causes respiratory symptoms, reduces activity and quality of life, and causes exacerbations that can require emergency care and, in the worst case, be fatal. With proven medication, however, the disease can now be easily controlled in most patients. Treatments are both non-medicinal (allergen avoidance, smoking cessation, patient education and physical training) and medicinal therapies.
In respiratory we are focused on developing and providing treatment options that address two major issues:
- treatment adherence and compliance (in other words patient medication-taking behavior)
- treating asthma that remains uncontrolled - despite the use of a standard of care therapy.
Adherence is a major issue in the effective management of asthma and COPD. Moreover, many patients have multiple devices for different parts of their treatment (maintenance and rescue therapies). This adds to the complexity that patients face.
Improper inhaler use can result in increased exacerbation (acute attacks) of asthma or COPD requiring emergency care.
Applying expertise, innovation and technology to improve health
Our research and development teams are working on solutions to address unmet needs in respiratory medicine. In fact, our Teva site in Waterford is dedicated to research and development for respiratory, along with manufacturing medicines and devices for respiratory products.
Effective asthma medication allows people to lead healthier lives but a key challenge is ensuring patients are taking their medication in the correct way. Too many patients have poor inhaler technique, which means the medicine is not properly used, meaning less effective treatment for the patient and a waste of resource for the health service.
The focus of our global research efforts in respiratory is on breath-activated inhaled therapies for asthma and COPD, where incorrect inhaler technique and non-adherence has been shown to be associated with poor asthma control, as well as targeted biologics for uncontrolled asthma.
Smart Inhaler Technology
A key area our global research teams are focusing on is E-connectivity. Using smart inhaler technology patients may be empowered to manage their condition more effectively, and healthcare professionals could get greater insight into the patient's experience and condition to make more informed treatment decisions.
We are dedicated to supporting our patients and healthcare professionals
Our work with patients, and our experience in respiratory, means we are well placed to invest in extensive research into medicines to help alleviate the many symptoms of asthma, cystic fibrosis and COPD, to offer patients and healthcare professionals a wider choice of treatments.
Life Effects™ - patient support from Teva
Your health impacts your life in so many different ways—physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and financially, to name a few. Chronic illness can turn your life upside down.
Through Teva’s Life Effects™ website you can read stories from other patients and caregivers who share their tips and real life experiences to help other patients navigate their new normal.
Back to contents.
Asthma Society of Ireland https://www.asthma.ie/about-us/who-we-are - Accessed December 2020
Back to contents.
World Health Organisation https://www.who.int/gard/publications/GARD_Manual/en/ - Accessed December 2020