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'Tens of thousands' at risk of asthma attacks because of wrongly prescribed inhalers

By Jennifer Cockerell

Published 16/06/2015

More than a million people may have been wrongly diagnosed as having asthma
More than a million people may have been wrongly diagnosed as having asthma

Tens of thousands of people are at risk of potentially life-threatening asthma attacks because they are not being correctly prescribed inhalers, a charity has warned.

Asthma UK said more than 22,000 people with the condition, including 2,000 children, have been incorrectly prescribed long-acting reliever inhalers, which carry a black box warning in the US because they are unsafe if not used appropriately.

Its analysis, which is based on data from more than 500 GP practices from all over the UK, also found that almost 100,000 people with asthma have been prescribed too many short-acting reliever inhalers (more than 12 in a year) without national clinical guidelines being followed, which are also leaving them at risk of death.

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