Sweden on the way to a national allergy programme

Sweden have announced plans for a new national programme to help increase knowledge about allergies and how to improve treatment for existing patients. Plans will also include new preventative measures to reduce the risk of allergies throughout the country.

Sweden has decided to develop a new allergy programme to introduce preventative measures to reduce the risk of allergies and asthma in the country. Mikaela Odemyr, ELF Patient Advisory Committee Chair and president of the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association, welcomes the announcement: 

“A national allergy programme addresses the challenges we see today. Until now, access to investigation and treatment has been unequal and can depend on where in the country you live and who you meet in healthcare. The new plan clarifies to the regions what resources are needed to ensure that everyone with allergies receives good care, something we hope will lead to more specialists.” 

Sweden’s latest national plan follows a recent call to policymakers to take urgent action to tackle the impact of severe asthma on patients, which included: 

  • The development of national asthma plans and strategies for prevention and management; 
  • Stronger coordination and collaboration between countries for best practices, policy and guidelines; 
  • Increased support for research and data collection to provide a more robust evidence base for severe asthma and offer a more consistent understanding of the global impact of asthma. 

This announcement represents a huge milestone for lung health, as well as for Mikaela and the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association who have long-been fighting for equal care in Sweden. Mikaela said: “for the Asthma and Allergy Association, this is one of our greatest political successes ever.” 

Sweden will develop a plan like Finland’s national allergy programme which has “yielded good results” according to Asthma and Allergy Association. Preventative measures include increasing people’s tolerance to common allergens so that fewer people develop allergies in the future. At the same time, those affected should receive better and equal access to care across the country. 

Dimitris Kontopidis, ELF Chair, said: “It is a fantastic achievement for Sweden and for the Asthma and Allergy Association. It shows that as patients we can empower not just fellow patients but also professionals, politicians and the public. 

“Mikaela provides us with a great example of patient advocacy. We can all be at the centre of change in our own countries and also at a European level. Let us continue to listen to and inspire each other as we advocate for healthcare solutions together.”  


Further reading: Acko Ankarberg Johansson: Action plan on allergy and asthma (