Monday, September 20, 2010
Belladonna derivative to replace Advaire, but will be just as expensive
Although the pharmceutical industries claim that their prices are high because of research and developement, it turns out that Serevent, the main ingredient in the Advaire inhaler, is probably inferior to a new product, Spirivia, that is discussed in the New England Journal of Medicine. The principle ingredient is Tiotropium, a derivitave of Belladonna.
Although the drug was developed in Europe, it will be comparable in price to, the overly expensive, Advaire. The reason, my guess, is, as George Duhbya Bush used to say, that "oceans no longer divide us". Or to put it a little more simply, Boehringer Ingelheim has went into cahoots with Pfizer
Spiriva is an alternative for adult asthmatics, researchers say.
Though some doctors have already been prescribing the drug, meant to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, for asthma, a new study confirms the benefit of such use.
September 19, 2010 Los Angeles Times
By Thomas H. Maugh II
Some physicians have already begun prescribing the drug for asthmatics because of the lack of suitable alternatives, but the new results from a major clinical trial provide a sound underpinning for such uses, experts said.
In particular, the drug is expected to provide an alternative to long-acting beta-agonists, such as Serevent, Advair and Symbicort, which have been shown occasionally to exacerbate asthma symptoms, leading to hospitalization and even death.
A particular strength of Spiriva, known generically as tiotropium bromide, is that its effects last for 24 hours or more, providing long-lasting relief for patients, said Dr. Michael D. Roth, a professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research. "It provides daylong relief, so that patients don't have to think about getting in trouble part way through the day," he said.
"When we're desperate, we throw the kitchen sink at patients, and tiotropium does give them some relief," added Dr. Paryus Patel, a pulmonary specialist at Marina Del Rey Hospital who said he already prescribes the drug on occasion. The new study, published online in the New England Journal of Medicine and reported Sunday at a meeting in Barcelona, Spain, of the European Respiratory Society, means that "people who shied away from using this now have an alternative for symptom relief."
Read more at the LA Times