10 Mar 2009

New asthma treatment in UK

10:58 am on 10 March 2009

Researchers in Britain say a new asthma treatment could halve the number of attacks for severe sufferers of the illness.

Asthma is a huge health problem in New Zealand, with the Asthma Society estimating it affects one in four children.

After a year-long study, clinicians at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester say a new antibody has proved effective. The drug is injected once a month.

Professor Ian Pavord, who is chief medical adviser to the Asthma UK organisation, told Morning Report it has enabled some severe ashthma sufferers to stop taking oral steroids.

Some patients using the new treatment had only half the number of serious asthma attacks over the study period.

He said larger trials are needed but hoped there will be enough information to decide within three years whether the drug is a viable treatment.