Debbie Rigby is a consultant clinical pharmacist from Brisbane. Since graduation with a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Queensland she has since obtained a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy, Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy, Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Pharmacy and certification as an Asthma Educator; and credentialed as an Advanced Practice Pharmacist.
Debbie is a Director on the NPS MedicineWise Board (National Prescribing Service) and Chair of the SHPA Accredited Pharmacist Reference Group. Other appointments include APC Advanced Practice Credentialing Committee, Clinical Reference Lead to ADHA, Visiting Fellow QUT, and Adjunct Senior Lecturer at University of Queensland. Debbie conducts Home Medicine Reviews in collaboration with GPs in a medical centre, as well as providing education to pharmacists, GPs, nurses, nurse practitioners and consumers.
In 2001 Debbie was awarded the PSA Australian Pharmacist of the Year, in 2002 the PSA Qld Bowl of Hygeia and in 2008 was the inaugural recipient of the AACP Consultant Pharmacist Award.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disease that is characterised by heterogeneity in clinical phenotype and response to therapy. Inhaled corticosteroids and ICS/LABAs are the cornerstone for treatment of asthma. A subgroup of patients with uncontrolled severe asthma despite optimal inhaler technique and medication adherence, appear to be partially resistant to corticosteroid treatment. These patients with frequent exacerbations may benefit from addition of a biologic agent targeting the interleukin-5 pathway or immunoglobulin E.
Omalizumab is a humanised anti-IgE monoclonal antibody that targets the allergic phenotype of severe asthma, and leads to reduced asthma exacerbations, decreased rescue medication use, and improved quality of life. This presentation will focus on the clinical features and biomarkers used to select patients for initiation of omalizumab and real-world data demonstrating safety and effectiveness.
Second generation biologicals for asthma targeting specific inflammatory pathways such as interleukin 5 (IL-5) will also be discussed, along with the new prostaglandin D2 receptor antagonist, fevipiprant.