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According to the National Clinical Lead of the HSE’s Asthma Programme, Prof Pat Manning, the long-awaited model of care is still being worked on but should be ready for publication sometime in the summer.
Speaking to the Medical Independent (MI), the consultant respiratory physician outlined that a high-level implementation plan would be devised when the model of care is complete.
The development of an implementation plan is now a requirement for all new HSE model of care plans, it is understood.
“We hope to have the model of care completed by mid-year and the high-level implementation plan developed after that,” Prof Manning noted.
He added that the model of care, developed initially in 2010/2011, is currently being updated in line with the integrated care programmes. A section on paediatric care is also being updated, along with data on asthma epidemiology.
The publication of the model of care was previously put on hold following the start of GP contract negotiations.
Meanwhile, a medication for the treatment of severe asthma has been cleared for reimbursement by the HSE.
The HSE Drugs Group agreed last year that mepolizumab, initially refused for reimbursement, would now be reimbursed after the commercial offering satisfied “conventional, cost effectiveness thresholds”, according to information released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Prior to this decision, mepolizumab was reviewed by the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) and deemed too costly for reimbursement.
It is understood that mepolizumab could help reduce severe asthma attacks in around 500 Irish patients. The drug is usually injected every four weeks and claims to reduce severe asthma attacks, hospital admissions and the use of oral steroids.