July 31, 2021

‘No need’ for Kilkenny’s 19,000 asthma and COPD sufferers to panic buy drugs

The 18,000-plus  people in Kilkenny with respiratory issues are being urged not to stockpile their medication in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

There are 7,347 people with asthma in Kilkenny and the 10,916 people with COPD, according to the Asthma Society who assured local sufferers: “There is no national shortage of asthma and COPD medication.”

Those affected are being asked to buy the normal one-month supply of drugs and to be considerate of others in similar positions.

The Asthma Society, who represent almost 900,000 people in Ireland who either suffer from Asthma or COPD, to continue using their medication as prescribed and to ignore idle chat on social media making disputable claims about certain treatments.

Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland, said: “The Asthma Society has been liaising closely with the IPU, the HSE, the Department of Health and with various pharmaceutical companies who have reassured us that there is a good stock of asthma and COPD medications in Ireland.

“There is no need to order extra medicines than you need for the coming month. This will affect the supply of medicines for others. There is no disruption to the supply of medicines – our Irish supply chains are well-stocked, established and reliable.

“Although it is very important to ensure you have enough medication to comply with instructions given by your doctor, at this current critical time, we are calling on our people with respiratory illnesses to please ensure they only purchase enough medication for one month.

“Panic buying” in this manner is resulting in others with respiratory illnesses unable to access essential medication. During this uncertain time, please be considerate of others.”

The Asthma Society is also warning people with asthma and/or COPD to only trust reputable sources for information/advice on their condition(s). This warning comes following a number of stories containing false medical information came to light over the past week.

“It is of the utmost importance that patients only look to reputable sources for any information/advice people with asthma and/or COPD,” Sarah O’Connor added.

“We are also urging people to ensure any information they share themselves is from a reliable source. The spreading of misinformation on asthma/COPD management may put lives at risk and causes unnecessary fear and distress to patients and their families.

“During the past week, we noticed that a lot of people on social media were advising others to avoid taking their preventive inhaler steroids.  The HSE has advised that patients with long-term illnesses should continue taking their prescribed medications unless advised otherwise by their healthcare professional,” Ms O’Connor said.

The HSE’s National Clinical Respiratory Programme and the Asthma Society are advising all people with asthma and COPD to visit asthma.ie for questions in relation to coronavirus and their condition.

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