Although the principles of asthma management are well established in Europe, the available data indicate that asthma in patients is not well controlled. Many patients derive incomplete benefit from their inhaled medication because they do not use inhaler devices correctly and this may compromise asthma control. The Aerosol Drug Management Improvement Team (ADMIT), incorporating clinicians from the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands, reviewed published evidence to examine ways to improve the treatment of reversible airways disease in Europe. Data indicate that there is a clear need for specific training of patients in correct inhalation technique for the various devices currently available, and this should be repeated frequently to maintain correct inhalation technique. Devices which provide reassurance to patients and their physicians that inhalation is performed correctly should help to improve patient compliance and asthma control. Educational efforts should also focus on primary prescribers of inhaler devices. ADMIT recommends dissemination of information on the correct inhalation technique for each model of device by the use of an accessible dedicated literature base or website which would enable to match the appropriate inhaler to the individual patient. There is also a need for standardisation of prescribing practices throughout Europe. Regular checking of inhalation technique by prescribers is crucial as correct inhalation is one of the keystones of successful asthma management.