The Sunday Post (Dundee)
‘Game-changing’ asthma drug needs testing before I’ll get excited
THERE’S a new asthma drug which is apparently a “game-changer”.
I was a bit sceptical of the headlines – and not just because game-changer is one of those annoying Americanisms which has sneaked into the vernacular.
Hundreds of thousands of people with asthma could have their treatment revolutionised, said the reports, if they switched from inhalers to a new tablet being developed called Fevipiprant.
More than 1400 people die of asthma attacks in the UK every year – which is a very small proportion of those with asthma but still an awful lot.
So the potential benefits of a new treatment could indeed be huge, if found to be safe.
This drug, however, is at an early stage and years of testing will be needed.
There was some speculation about how this treatment could spell the end of the inhaler, too.
Patients wouldn’t need to lug them around, apparently, and could instead pop a pill.
The poor inhaler. They’re actually a good way of delivering medicine to the lungs.
A preventer inhaler for instance, can deliver a steroid to the part of the body – the lungs – affected by asthma with much less effect on the rest of the body than if it was taken as a tablet.
Preventer inhalers are used regularly and reduce inflammation in the lungs which contributes to the symptoms of asthma. A bit like what Fevipiprant seems to do.
Some people with more severe asthma need to take regular steroids in the form of tablets, and they’re more likely to experience associated side-effects.
These folk could get most benefit from a new drug. So, although we don’t yet know if Fevipiprant will improve asthma treatment, fingers crossed it does.