New $31 million study on asthma treatments approved


The American Academy of Family Physicians and Penn State College of Medicine will explore the efficacy of asthma treatments.

The $31 million funding awarded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) will be used to compare the effectiveness of two different asthma treatments: inhaled steroids and specific antibiotics.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the chronic disease named asthma affects over 20 million Americans, and despite recent medical advances the condition’s exacerbation rates are still alarming.

“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. By further understanding which types of treatments are more or less effective for different patient, we can treat patients with asthma more effectively and help improve their quality of life”, commented Julie Wood, MD, MPH, FAAFP, senior vice president of Research, Science and Health of the Public for the AAFP.

The Individualizing Treatment for Asthma in Primary Care (iTREAT-PC) study will include more than 3.000 patients over 12 years of age in order to test the action of inhaled steroids and specific antibiotics therapies, both alone and combined. Participants will be followed up for a period of 16 months for results. The study will be included in the AAFP National Research Network (NRN).

Wilson Pace, AAFP NRN MD and also project’s clinical lead, declared:

“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.

“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.”

The new iTREAT-PC research funding has been awarded following completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI as well as after signing a formal contract.


kw: American Academy of Family Physicians, Penn State College of Medicine, AAFP, National Research Network, asthma study, iTREAT-PC study, PCORI, news