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BTS and PCRS response to asthma management messaging on the BBC


In response to the BBC’s Morning Live segment broadcast 12th February on asthma, PCRS has formulated a joint response with the British Thoracic Society raising our concerns of the inaccurate reporting on asthma treatment.

Our complaint in full: 

As the British Thoracic Society and the Primary Care Respiratory Society, we write to share our concerns regarding messaging that was shared yesterday, on 12 February 2024, regarding asthma management on BBC Morning Live with Dr. Xand van Tulleken.


We represent healthcare professionals working with patients to ensure their asthma is diagnosed, treated and managed according to evidence-based guidelines. We feel the information shared during this segment of your show was contrary to this guidance and does not properly reflect the currently accepted evidence and practice. Importantly, the advice given on your show could negatively affect people’s asthma in terms of their day-to-day life, and also increase the risk of them having asthma attacks.


Our concerns include an inaccurate implication that inhalers are outdated, potentially harmful and poor-quality, the role of steroids, and potentially dangerous information around managing an asthma attack.


As organisations, it is our goal to ensure that patients with asthma receive accurate treatment plans and information, from an appropriate healthcare professional familiar with the intricacies of their condition. Our role is to ensure that our healthcare professionals have the up-to-date information they need, and that this advice is consistent and clear to understand for patients. We are concerned that the incorrect information shared on your show yesterday might cause confusion and subsequently pose significant risk to people with asthma.

We are requesting action from the BBC to remedy and retract the sharing of this incorrect information, and to ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to prevent it from happening again. We are always available to put forward spokespeople for respiratory health, so please do feel free to approach us if you are seeking expertise in this area.


With kind regards,


British Thoracic Society

Primary Care Respiratory Society