Prof. Richard Dekhuijzen

Professor lung diseases, RadboudUMC, Chairman Board ITW Foundation

Inhalation therapy is the cornerstone of drug treatment in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive disease. “The more medication arrives in the correct place in the lungs, the more effective it is. But inhaling more medication in a correct manner is really difficult. A lot of mistakes are made, both when preparing the inhalation device and when actually using it”, says Richard Dekhuijzen, chairman of the ITW Foundation.

Because there are many different types of patients and a massive variety of inhalers, it is very important to have a good match between the patient and the inhaler. A good, clear and repeated instruction is required for the best possible inhalation. Therapy compliance must also be promoted. “This is what we mainly focus on. The match between patient and device, how to teach something to a person, how do I understand his or her attitude in respect of inhaled drugs, and how to positively affect his and achieve a better result. We would like to see healthcare professionals first make a working diagnosis, determine a medication class, pick an inhaler matching the patient, and only then prescribe specific medication. It is also a bit of awareness.” Through interactive (continued) training of healthcare professionals, the ITW Foundation wants to contribute to this correct match, teaching skills to people, and affecting therapy compliance.