Severe refractory asthma poses a substantial burden in terms of healthcare costs but relatively little is known about the factors which drive these costs. This study uses data from the British Thoracic Society Difficult Asthma Registry (n=596) to estimate direct healthcare treatment costs from an National Health Service perspective and examines factors that explain variations in costs. Annual mean treatment costs among severe refractory asthma patients were £2912 (SD £2212) to £4217 (SD £2449). Significant predictors of costs were FEV1% predicted, location of care, maintenance oral corticosteroid treatment and body mass index. Treating individuals with severe refractory asthma presents a substantial cost to the health service.