American Lung Association Supports “Real World” Studies in Asthma

(February 21, 2012)

In 1999, the American Lung Association started something completely unique – creating a research network focused on conducting “real world” studies in asthma. Now, almost 12 years after the network began, the American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers Network (ACRC) is a huge success and can lay claim to a series of advances in our understanding of asthma that have reaped almost immediate rewards for patients and their physicians.

ACRC was novel because, at the time, no other voluntary health agency was conducting its own clinical research. Today, the network is still unique, operating as the nation’s largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma treatment research, and has attracted some of the best asthma investigators worldwide.

Dr. William C. Bailey, Chair of the ACRC Steering Committee explains what makes the ACRC different – and important: “There are two major sources of funding for lung health research: the pharmaceutical industry and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The pharmaceutical companies focus on the safety and efficacy of specific drugs while the NIH focuses on complex, basic research and clinical research often directed toward mechanistic understanding. In contrast, the ACRC examines issues that are important to the everyday practice of medicine.”

In the past decade, ACRC trials have made many significant discoveries that have “real world” impact on the treatment of asthma, such as:

  • The flu vaccine is safe for asthmatics
  • An old and inexpensive asthma drug was just as effective as newer more expensive drug
  • Asthma control was not improved by using “proton pump” acid-reducers in those with asymptomatic acid reflux

You can learn more about the ACRC’s other important findings, promising new research going on in the network, and why clinical trials in research are so important in the latest edition of our Promise of Research e-newsletter. Want to keep up with research efforts of the American Lung Association? Subscribe here to receive future issues of Promise of Research. Want to keep up with all the Lung Association does to fight for healthy lungs and healthy air? Subscribe to our monthly Fighting For Air Online and other e-newsletters here.

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