GAAPP and AstraZeneca launch campaign to help asthma patients break over-reliance on their SABA 'blue' reliever inhaler to prevent asthma attacks

People with asthma encouraged to take new Reliever Reliance Test that assesses levels of reliance on their SABA 'blue' inhaler and supports relevant consultations with health professionals

VIENNA, Sept. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Global Allergy and Airways Patient Platform (GAAPP) and its member organisations are partnering with AstraZeneca to launch a global public health awareness campaign to educate asthma patients on the risks associated with over-reliance on short-acting beta2 agonist (SABA) 'blue' reliever inhalers. There are 339 million people living with asthma around the world and 176 million asthma attacks occur every year.1,2 Evidence shows that over-reliance on reliever inhalers for symptom management – defined as using this type of inhaler three or more times a week – is an indicator of increased risk of asthma attacks.3,4

As we continue to face the global pandemic, medical experts agree that for people with asthma, the best way of staying healthy and recovering if infected with COVID-19, is to ensure their asthma is as stable as possible.5 Now, more than ever, is the time to rethink the way asthma is managed, as the current approach could be increasing people's risk of asthma attacks and putting their lives at risk. To address this problem, the campaign encourages patients to review how they manage their asthma. Whilst their SABA reliever inhaler helps to relieve symptoms, when used alone it does not treat the underlying inflammation that causes asthma.6

The 'Break Over-Reliance' campaign is launching internationally in September 2020. At the heart of the campaign is an educational website featuring information that helps patients to take action, supports healthcare professionals to conduct ongoing treatment reviews, and encourages policymakers to identify mechanisms of change at the policy level to improve national standards of asthma management.

The campaign provides an evidence-based digital tool, the Reliever Reliance Test at, to assess a patient's reliance on their SABA. The five-item questionnaire is adapted from the validated SABA Risk Questionnaire.7 The first-of-its-kind patient-friendly tool is aimed at helping patients have relevant consultations with health professionals about how to best control their asthma.

"GAAPP is pleased to partner with AstraZeneca on the Break Over-Reliance campaign, an important public health initiative that will help bring to light the issue of SABA over-reliance and the need for a fundamental rethink of the way asthma is managed among patients, healthcare professionals and policymakers. A core element of the campaign – the Reliever Reliance Test, will help patients identify whether they are over-reliant on their SABA inhaler and support discussions about their asthma management with their healthcare providers," said Tonya Winders, President, GAAPP.

"In recent years, there has been a growing body of evidence and a groundswell of support among respiratory experts who have increasingly called for a new approach to the treatment of asthma, given the now widely acknowledged link between SABA overuse and an increased risk of asthma attacks. As a leader in respiratory care, AstraZeneca is proud to be partnering with the Global Allergy & Airways Patient Platform on this important campaign, which aims to break the cycle of SABA over-reliance by providing tools for patients and healthcare providers that will help to improve asthma management and fundamentally transform asthma care," said Gonzalo de Miquel, Vice President, Global Medical Affairs, Respiratory & Immunology, AstraZeneca.

More information

This material was originally produced and funded by AstraZeneca in partnership with the Global Allergy & Airways Patient Platform.


  1. The Global Asthma Network. The Global Asthma Report 2018. [Online]. Available at: [Last accessed: July 2020].
  2. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. Data on file. Annual Rate of Exacerbations Globally (ID:SD-3010-ALL-0017). REF-51980.
  3. Global Initiative for Asthma. Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention. 2020 Update. [Last accessed: July 2020].
  4. Asthma UK: Reducing prescribing errors in asthma care. Available at: [Last accessed July 2020].
  5. Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. Asthma and COVID-19: risks and management considerations. Available at: [Last accessed July 2020].
  6. O'Byrne PM, Jenkins C, Bateman ED. The paradoxes of asthma management: time for a new approach? Eur Respir J. 2017; 50 (3): 1701103.
  7. Chan AHY, Katzer C, Kaplan A, et al. SABA Reliance Questionnaire (SRQ): identifying patient beliefs underpinning reliever over-reliance in asthma [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 20]. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2020; S2213-2198(20)30722-4. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2020.07.014.

Tonya Winder, President
Global Allergy and Airways Patient Platform

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SOURCE Global Allergy and Airways Patient Platform

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