Lead Investigator:

Liam Heaney, Queens University Belfast (QUB)

Research Team:

The research team will be made up of a a team from the QUB:

  • Joan Sweeney
  • Christopher Patterson

Status: Active


The Respiratory Effectiveness Group




Short description:

It is often stated that asthma costs are driven by unscheduled healthcare resource utilisation, but the drug costs can significantly outstrip the cost of unscheduled healthcare use.
There is a need to understand the true cost of refractory asthma if future high-cost drugs are to be justified.
Aims: to use a large UK primary care database (the Optimum Patient Care Research Database [OPCRD]) to compare the steroid load in a refractory asthma population to that of (matched) milder asthma patients and non-asthmatic controls. The study will evaluate the comorbidity prevalence (stratified by age) and use those rates to model the true (and comparative) cost of refractory asthma:
Among refractory asthma patients (vs well-controlled asthma patients and non-asthmatic controls), evaluate the:
Prevalence of steroid-induced morbidities (cross-sectional phase)
Incidence rate of (new) morbidities (prospective phase)
Combining data from the OPCRD and the BTS Difficult Asthma Registry:
Morbidity rates in refractory asthma patients will be compared.
UK prevalence rates for potential steroid-induced morbidities will be provided.
Cost modelling:
The annual cost associated with the treatment and management of systemic steroid-induced morbidities will be estimated
A model estimating the lifetime cost of morbidity attributable to systemic steroid exposure, will be developed.

Documents and Publications




Final Publications

Additional Material