More COPD treatments soon may be available

More COPD treatments soon may be available

The more than 13 million American adults who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, one of the most common lung diseases in the United States, and the people who care for them, soon may have more treatment options.

That’s because America’s biopharmaceutical research companies are working on 54 new medicines to treat COPD, according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA.

These new therapies are in clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration for patient use.

COPD is a serious, progressive lower respiratory disease that encompasses two main conditions — chronic bronchitis and emphysema — characterized by obstructed airflow to the lungs that interferes with normal breathing.

People with COPD may be limited in their ability to work, exercise and even perform routine activities.

The number of patients with COPD is increasing, according to the National Institutes of Health, or NIH.

Besides those diagnosed with the disease, 12 million Americans likely have COPD without knowing it.

The NIH says symptoms can include:

• Constant coughing, sometimes called “smoker’s cough.”

• Shortness of breath while doing activities you used to be able to do.

• Feeling like you can’t breathe.

• Not being able to take a deep breath.

• Wheezing.

If you experience any of these, see your doctor.

“Early detection of COPD is imperative, as effective treatment and lifestyle changes can change the course and progression of this devastating disease,” PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani stated in a news release.

PhRMA’s mission is to advocate for public policies that encourage medical innovation and research into new medicines for patients by pharmaceutical and biotechnology research companies.

America’s biopharmaceutical research sector is the global leader in medical innovation, with more than 300 new medicines approved by the FDA in recent decades.

Researchers currently are studying more than 3,000 compounds.