When people breathe better, they live better

07 March 2018

Respiratory conditions are some of the most hazardous and widespread health problems in our world today. Here’s what GSK is doing to help.

Every day, over half a billion people struggle to breathe. Breathing is possibly the most essential bodily function for staying alive, yet one in fifteen people have respiratory difficulties, the most common of which are COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and asthma.

Asthma is a chronic disease characterised by attacks of breathlessness, which vary in severity and frequency from person to person. However, while asthma can be mild or severe, the symptoms caused by the condition are often the same - excess phlegm in the lungs, a tightening of the airways in the chest, and an inability to catch your breath. Also, these symptoms can occur in patients at seemingly random times, which only helps to make the condition more concerning for doctors and unsettling for patients.

As polluted air continues to affect cities, the number of people with respiratory conditions is likely to rise and better treatments for respiratory health issues are going to become a necessity. With polluted air adding to the problem of respiratory disease, the team at GSK believes something needs to change. This is why GSK scientists and engineers have spent the last four-and-a-half decades tirelessly developing medicines and treatments for respiratory diseases. And thanks to the work being done by these men and women, we now have more effective treatments for respiratory conditions than ever before.

One of the newest areas of research being explored by the scientists at GSK are smart inhalers. These inhalers monitor how much medicine each patient takes and uses this information to inform their future treatment. As well as smart inhalers, GSK are now producing dry powder inhalers (DPIs), which incorporate the broadest portfolio of once-daily medicines and are the result of years of development. Whether a patient has mild respiratory problems or is one of the millions of people suffering from severe asthma, these new inhalers can help to make their day-to-day life easier, allowing them to live every breath.

The work that GSK has done so far is incredible, but we won’t stop now. There are still more people to help, more medicines to develop and more discoveries to make.



  • What are the two most common respiratory conditions?
  • What factor is adding to the problem of respiratory conditions?
  • What are the symptoms of asthma?


Click here for more information about dry powder inhalers (DPIs) or smart inhalers.

Follow this link to learn about living with severe asthma.

Click here to find out about other asthma research being undertaken by GSK.

Follow this link to find out about GSK’s educational asthma resources.


More articles like this are coming soon, so you can create quick, real-world links to your teaching.