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Standards and competencies to improve inhaler technique

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Hundreds of different inhalers are available to Hundreds of different inhalers are available to patients with respiratory conditions

Despite many advances in treatment options inhalers remain the mainstay for delivering medication to the lungs while minimising side effects in respiratory disorders, principally asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In asthma, they control symptoms and prevent mortality and for COPD they help relieve symptoms and prevent exacerbations. Recent findings showed that incorrect inhaler technique is unacceptably widespread and has not improved over the past 40 years1, pointing to an urgent need for new approaches to education and drug delivery. This mirrored previous findings.2,3,4

The UK Inhaler Group (UKIG) is a group of individuals and organisations, from a wide range of professions and patient groups, who are all passionate about improving the use of inhaled medications.

The UKIG takes the view that we must remind people that inhalers contain effective medicines, but that they are useless if used incorrectly or not used at all.

With this in mind, one of the actions of the UKIG was to provide a framework to assess and support the standards of those initiating inhaler therapies, and also for checking inhaler techniques.5

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