Asthmatics urged to stop stockpiling medication by the Asthma Society of Ireland

Shauna Power

People with asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD) are being urged not to stockpile their medication during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Asthma Society of Ireland has reassured the 380,000 people with asthma in Ireland, and the 500,000 people with COPD, that there is not a national shortage of medications for these conditions.

The Asthma Societys’ CEO, Sarah O’Connor, said that the organisation is in close contact with the Irish Pharmacy Union, 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,” she said, “our Irish supply chains are well-stocked, established and reliable.”

In recent weeks, people with asthma and COPD have contacted the society to express concerns about some pharmacies running out of medication.

“Restocking of pharmacies with these medications was delayed over the weekend due to people with respiratory illnesses panic buying medications to last several months” said O’Connor.

O’Connor said that there is “no need to be concerned about this” and this “minor delay” was temporary.

Asthma sufferer Louise Roche said the stockpiling of medication is causing unnecessary fear for those suffering from both Asthma and COPD.

“People are scared they won’t be able to get medication if the country goes into lockdown but stockpiling is making it worse,” said Roche, “They are forgetting that we may need medication on short notice and if there’s nothing on the shelves, what are we going to do?”,

Meanwhile the Asthma Society is warning people with asthma or COPD to only trust reputable sources for information/advice on their condition.

“The spreading of misinformation on asthma/COPD management may put lives at risk”, said O’Connor.

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

More information related to COVID-19 can be found on the Society of Asthma Ireland website. The Asthma and COPD advice line can be reached on 1800 44 54 64.


Shauna Power

Image Credit: Very Well Health