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NHS Direct begins asthma support service

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NHS Direct is to provide a review and follow-up programme for all patients who have been prescribed Symbicort Maintenance and Reliever Therapy (SMART) by GPs.

NHS Direct is to provide a review and follow-up programme for all patients who have been prescribed Symbicort Maintenance and Reliever Therapy (SMART) by GPs.

Patients will be monitored by NHS Direct who are on the SMART regime, which is a new way to treat asthma using the Symbicort inhaler, produced by AstraZeneca.

If patients are under or over-using their inhaler, or experiencing unpleasant side effects, they will be referred back to their GP for a face-to-face consultation.

Anne Joshua, associate director of pharmacy at NHS Direct, said: 'Our involvement in this programme forms part of our strategy to support people to manage their long-term conditions at home using telephone based care management systems.'

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