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Watchdog approves lung disease drug


People with breathing difficulties caused by conditions such as bronchitis and emphysema are being offered a new treatment.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate) for use by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD is a group of lung diseases in which the airways become restricted and progressively lose function. This leads to limited air flow and shortness of breath.

Trials showed that Symbicort – available to those with asthma in the US since 2007 – significantly improved lung function within five minutes of the first dose and sustained lung function improvements for the duration of the studies.

AstraZeneca’s chief medical officer, Dr Howard Hutchinson, said: “More than 12 million Americans with COPD struggle each day to live with the debilitating symptoms of COPD.

“With the approval of Symbicort for COPD, patients have a new treatment option that can deliver long-term lung function improvement and daily symptom control, together with a rapid onset of action.”

Copyright Press Association 2009


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