LEAWOOD, Kan. (WIBW) – A new study in Kansas will look at how different asthma therapies affect patients with a new $31 million award.
The American Academy of Family Physicians says it has partnered with Penn State College of Medicine to be approved for $31 million in funds from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to study the comparative effectiveness of asthma treatments.
AAFP noted that the project will focus on which of two treatment types – inhaled steroids or specific antibiotics, alone or together – works best in different patients.
The Academy indicated that asthma is a common chronic disease that affects more than 20 million Americans, and exacerbations are the leading cause of missed school or work for children and young adults according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It said population surveys by the CDC show that despite ongoing advances in asthma therapies, exacerbation rates have dropped only slightly in the past two decades.
“Nearly all family physicians encounter patients with asthma, and we know that some patient groups face higher rates of death and high rates of severe complications,” said Julie Wood, MD, MPH, FAAFP, senior vice president of Research, Science and Health of the Public for the AAFP. “By further understanding which types of treatments are more or less effective for different patients, we can treat patients with asthma more effectively and help improve their quality of life.”
The Academy said the Individualizing Treatment for Asthma in Primary Care study will test the interventions both alone and together in more than 3,000 asthma patients aged 12 and over. It said patients will be followed for 16 months to see which therapy is most effective in which individuals.
AAFP noted that Dr. Wilson Pace will serve as the co-investigator and clinical lead for the project.
“This will be the first study to compare the use of these two particular therapies – the antibiotic azithromycin to treat a broad spectrum of individuals with asthma and the use of inhaled corticosteroids as part of rescue therapy,” said Pace. “I have been involved in other large asthma studies, but this is the first to determine if anecdotal reports of asthma ‘cures’ from long-term antibiotic use can be substantiated.”
AAFP indicated that the study builds on the success of the recent PREPARE Study, which found that patient-activated reliever-triggered inhaled glucocorticoid strategy plus the continuation of usual care and medications lessened asthma symptoms and improved quality of life in Black and Latinx adults with moderate -to-serve asthma.
AAFP noted that PCORI is a nonprofit organization that funds research to provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. It said the award has been approved and spends completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff in order to issue a formal award contract.
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