Reducing short-acting beta-agonist use in asthma: Impact of national incentives on prescribing practices in England and the findings from SENTINEL Plus early adopter sites.

29 Apr 2024


Short-acting beta-agonist (SABA) over-use in asthma is harmful for patients and the environment. The Investment and Impact Fund (IIF) 2022/2023 financially rewarded English primary care networks that achieved specific targets, including reducing SABA over-use (RESP-02) and lowering the mean carbon footprint per salbutamol inhaler prescribed (ES-02). SENTINEL Plus is a co-designed quality improvement package that aims to improve asthma outcomes and reduce asthma's environmental impact by addressing SABA over-use. We investigated the impact of (i) the IIF incentives and (ii) SENTINEL Plus implementation on asthma prescribing. Using data, we demonstrate that IIF 2022-2023 had no significant impact on the total number of SABA prescribed in England (25,927,252 during 12-months pre- and 25,885,213 12-months post-IIF; 0.16% decrease; p=NS), but lower carbon footprint SABA inhaler use increased (Salamol™ prescribing increased from 5.1% to 19% of SABA prescriptions, p < 0.01). In contrast, SENTINEL Plus sites significantly reduced SABA prescribing post-implementation (5.43% decrease, p < 0.05).

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Resource information

Respiratory conditions
  • Asthma
Respiratory topics
  • Disease management
  • Inhalers
  • Treatment - drug
Type of resource
Peer-reviewed article
Crooks MG, Cummings H, Morice AH, Sykes D, Brooks S, Jackson A, Xu Y