Despite remarkable advances in diagnosis and long-term management, asthma remains a serious public health concern. Newly updated expert guidelines emphasize the intra- and inter-individual variability of asthma and highlight the importance of periodic assessment of asthma control. These guidelines update recommendations for step-wise asthma treatment, address the burgeoning field of asthma diagnostics, and stress the importance of a patient and health care professional partnership, including written action plans and self monitoring. The field of asthma therapeutics is expanding rapidly, with promising new treatment options available or in development that may address some of the existing barriers to successful asthma management. These approaches simplify treatment, use combinations of agents in one delivery device that have complementary actions, or target specific pathways involved in asthma patho-physiology. Considerable activity is taking place in asthma pharmacogenetics. This review provides an overview of these new approaches to managing asthma, including their present status and future potential.