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New asthma drug denied in Northern Ireland

Health and social services in Northern Ireland should implement official guidance to prevent applications for severe asthma drugs being turned down, say Asthma UK.

Xolair was approved for severe allergic asthma in February but applications for funding are being ritually turned down by health and social service boards.

Boards are not obliged to immediately begin funding for Xolair, but only within three months of the approval date.

Xolair can help people with severe asthma carry out simple daily tasks with ease, it is estimated the drug will help 200 people with asthma in Northern Ireland.

Claire Armstrong, director of Asthma UK Northern Ireland, said: "Asthma UK Northern Ireland campaigned hard for Xolair to be made available through health services and we are determined to ensure that people with asthma have access to the drug as soon as possible.

"Xolair is a drug that can, literally, transform the lives of people with severe, allergic asthma.

"This treatment really can mean the difference between a life worth living and having no quality of life at all."

Asthma UK

Do you think guidance should be implemented to help people with asthma be treated with Xolair?

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Why dont Asthma UK campaign for the Buteyko Method? A method that hundreds of thousands of asthmatics use to reverse their asthma. The method recognises hyperventilation, teaches the person how to correct it, is safe and has no side effects. Asthma UK, please wake up." - Patrick McKeown, Dublin, Ireland