The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.

Letter to the Editor

Editor, – The article ‘Asthma drugs in pregnancy and lactation’ (Aust Prescr 2013;36:150-3) was informative and well written, but there was one omission. While there is a role for ‘doctors, pharmacists, asthma educators and midwives in encouraging adherence to treatment’, equally important is the role of the registered nurse providing education and support in treatment management. In particular, the registered nurse endorsed as a nurse practitioner may act in this capacity.

Depending on their scope of practice, nurse practitioners may be primary care providers, actively involved and independently responsible for prescribing and management of medication regimens for pregnant women with asthma. Primary care has been identified as a key growth area for nurse practitioners working to improve access to care and improve effectiveness and efficiency of the healthcare system.1,2 As of June 2013, there were 926 endorsed nurse practitioners registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.3

Jane E Truscott
Nurse practitioner
Acute Care/Primary Health Care
Independent Clinical Education Consultant

Regional and rural Qld

Authors' comments

Angelina Lim, Safeera Hussainy and Michael Abramson, the authors of the article, comment:

We agree and advocate that nurse practitioners have a vital role in counselling and improving adherence and ongoing asthma monitoring during pregnancy. It is important that the allied health community work together to provide multidisciplinary care for our patients.

We are preparing to report a study that showed an intervention including multidisciplinary care, education and regular monitoring can help improve asthma control in pregnant women. (The protocol is available at www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/12/1094.) The study was in an antenatal setting and mainly involved midwives, however we recently conducted a survey which found many GPs are working with nurse practitioners to help provide better asthma management. After disseminating our results from this trial, we hope to encourage regular monitoring of maternal asthma in the community and make good use of nurse practitioners too.Angelina Lim, Safeera Hussainy and Michael Abramson, the authors of the article, comment: We agree and advocate that nurse practitioners have a vital role in counselling and improving adherence and ongoing asthma monitoring during pregnancy. It is important that the allied health community work together to provide multidisciplinary care for our patients. We are preparing to report a study that showed an intervention including multidisciplinary care, education and regular monitoring can help improve asthma control in pregnant women. (The protocol is available at www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/12/1094.) The study was in an antenatal setting and mainly involved midwives, however we recently conducted a survey which found many GPs are working with nurse practitioners to help provide better asthma management. After disseminating our results from this trial, we hope to encourage regular monitoring of maternal asthma in the community and make good use of nurse practitioners too.