Advair fails to hit goal in COPD trial

A study combining Glaxo's blockbuster Advair with Pfizer's Spiriva failed to demonstrate a significant reduction in exacerbations for patients with COPD, or smoker's lung. An exacerbation is a worsening of symptoms characterized by difficulty in breathing. The independent study of 449 volunteers tested combinations of Advair and Spiriva, Spiriva and a placebo and Spiriva with Serevent, Glaxo's older asthma drug. Advair did improve lung function, hospitalization rates and quality of life. A Glaxo spokesperson said that the low number of volunteers in the study may have prevented the trial from hitting its primary endpoint, adding that the data did demonstrate a benefit form the combination. Advair is indicated for use to treat asthma and COPD and earned $6.42 billion last year.

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