New Asthma Publication
The American Asthma Association, New York City, has recently published its first official newsletter called The Breeze. It is designed to provide information to help people with asthma live healthier lives.

In the United States today, there are more than 14 million people with asthma and the number is growing. Of these, 4.8 million are children, making asthma the most common chronic disease in that age group. If left untreated, asthma can be extremely dangerous, but with proper treatment and education, it can be controlled and help limit the number of hospitalizations and emergency department visits.

The Breeze is provided free to contributors to the American Asthma Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education and information to people with asthma.

To make a tax-deductible contribution and receive a free subscription to The Breeze, write to the American Asthma Association, PO Box 630, Lenox Hill Station, New York, NY 10021-0013; visit the Web site at

Sales of Therapies to Treat RSV Infection Will Top $240 Million in 2008
A new report from Decision Resources Inc, Waltham, Mass, titled “Respiratory Syncytial Virus,” provides an in-depth evaluation of RSV. The report found that the sales of agents to prevent and treat RSV infection in seven major pharmaceutical markets (United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Japan) will increase from approximately $125 million in 1998 to more than $240 million in 2008. The report examines the etiology and pathophysiology of RSV infection; discusses its epidemiology in the seven markets; and reviews current therapies, diagnostic methods, and medical practice in each of the markets. It then examines the unmet medical needs and emerging therapies for RSV, thus concluding with the major market sales predictions.

RSV is the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infection in children younger than age 2. In 1998, more than 11 million children in the seven markets were infected with RSV. In addition, immunocompromised patients of any age are susceptible to clinically significant RSV disease. Despite these facts, new drug development for the management of RSV is noticeably lacking, and significant unmet medical needs remain in both the prevention and treatment of this viral infection.

The study is part of Infectious Disease, a multiclient service that evaluates the commercial potential of drugs in research and development to treat bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections. Decision Resources Inc is a world leader in research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets.

TechEd and AARC Offer Spirometry Course
TechEd, Mason, Mich, and the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) have joined together to offer the AARC Spirometry Course, a comprehensive training program that focuses on the methodology and techniques of spirometry. Through an exclusive licensing agreement, the course is available to health care companies, providers, and organizations. Susan Blonshine, RRT, RPFT, originally teamed up with the AARC to develop and direct the first course.

“The AARC Spirometry Course is based on information and instruction from the most authoritative sources available. The course will help health care providers streamline their approach to spirometry education while providing a thorough education for health professionals who participate,” says Sam Giordano, AARC’s executive director.

The course covers all aspects of spirometry and was developed from the AARC Clinical Practice Guidelines and the American Thoracic Society standards and recommendations for spirometry. The AARC commissioned the National Board for Respiratory Care to develop a postcourse examination that will allow attendees to receive a certificate of completion in spirometry, Giordano adds. The certificate attests to the value of this course for those health professionals seeking to enhance their knowledge of respiratory therapy.

The course features recognized leaders in the profession of respiratory therapy and can be tailored to meet the needs of the sponsoring agency. The course, accredited for 7 hours of continuing respiratory care education (CRCE), covers:
• physiology of a forced vital capacity maneuver;
• clinical indications and contraindications for spirometry;
• spirometry performance;
• spirometry data interpretation;
• syringe calibration and quality control for spirometry equipment; and
• hands-on experience and discussion time with faculty members.

“The agreement between TechEd and the AARC uses the strengths of both organizations,” Blonshine says. “TechEd brings a history of developing quality education services to the table. The AARC brings the ability to accredit the course for CRCE and to disseminate the information to the more than 35,000 respiratory therapists in the nation.” For further information, contact the AARC at 972-243-2272.

New Campaign Launches National Asthma Education Program
Three famous athletes with asthma—Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, Olympic runner Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken—recently joined five leading medical organizations to introduce a new national education campaign about asthma and its treatment called “Asthma All-Stars.” The campaign encourages people to learn how to better manage their asthma, help prevent symptoms, and reduce the health and lifestyle limitations often caused by the disease.

Asthma All-Stars was developed in response to findings from a landmark survey, Asthma in America™, released last year. The survey found that many people with asthma were experiencing high rates of emergency department visits, persistent symptoms, missed work and school, and limitations on activities because of asthma. The three world-class athletes overcame their own problems with asthma by following a daily action plan. “This program helps people take the offensive against asthma. It gives them information about how to prevent symptoms and manage their asthma more effectively, so they can be Asthma All-Stars, too,” Bettis says.

Joining the athletes in the Asthma All-Stars program are five national medical organizations: the Allergy and Asthma Network—Mothers of Asthmatics Inc; American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology; American College of Chest Physicians/The CHEST Foundation; American College of Sports Medicine; and the National Association of School Nurses Inc. The program is also sponsored and supported by Glaxo Wellcome, Research Triangle Park, NC, a research-based pharmaceutical company and a world leader in respiratory care.

The Asthma All-Stars campaign package includes four full-color posters that feature the athletes’ personal stories and encourage people to call a toll-free number (877-4ALLSTAR) to request a free information packet. Each packet contains a series of Star Cards with useful tips on how people can better control their asthma. The package also includes trading cards featuring each athlete. The posters will be displayed at physicians’ and nurses’ offices and other public settings across the United States.

ALA and Glaxo Wellcome Educate Americans on Influenza
The American Lung Association (ALA) recently announced that it had joined forces with Glaxo Wellcome Inc, Research Park, NC, to launch a new education campaign on influenza that was introduced in early November.

The partnership will encompass varying programs and is part of a 3-year educational partnership. This partnership will strive to educate the public on the seriousness of influenza as a major viral respiratory disease that is preventable with early immunization, and treatable due to the availability of effective antiviral medications. The program includes a national radio public service announcement campaign set to run throughout the 1999/2000 flu season, support of and emphasis on the ALA’s Healthy Lung Month, and the developing of educational materials for distribution.

“Recognizing influenza as a severe respiratory disease is the first step in understanding how to manage this illness. Although people feel sick all over, the virus that causes influenza resides primarily in the lungs, and can cause serious complications including pneumonia, which can lead to death,” says Linda B. Ford, MD, past president of the ALA. “With the educational support and funding from Glaxo Wellcome, the public will receive useful information about the seriousness of influenza, both by encouraging everyone to protect themselves from contracting the illness by getting vaccinated now, and to better manage the disease if they become affected during flu season.”

Influenza affects more than 100 million people each year in the United States, the majority of whom are not vaccinated. Vaccination is the first line of defense against influenza, and the ALA and Glaxo Wellcome encourage Americans to get vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid becoming infected this flu season.

For more information, please contact the ALA Web site at

First Guide to Diagnose and Treat Asthma in Children
The nation’s leading pediatric and asthma experts announced the release of a definitive guide for physicians and other health care professionals for identifying and treating asthma in children and adolescents under 18 years of age. The guide is called Pediatric Asthma: Promoting Best Practice Guide for Managing Asthma in Children and was unveiled at a press briefing at the National Press Club, Washington, DC. These experts determined that asthmatic children should receive the highest standard of medical care since asthma is the most chronic disease of childhood and affects nearly 5 million children and adolescents. The guide represents a unified effort that recognizes the medical and developmental issues unique to children and adolescents with the disease.

Pediatric Asthma is the only set of pediatric treatment recommendations endorsed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). The guide is adapted from the NHLBI’s 1997 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma. In addition to NHLBI, AAP, and AAAAI, representatives from six other medical/health organizations, and a governmental agency, contributed to development of the guide. A specialist in family medicine also assisted the guide.

“Asthma in children has become one of the most critical public health issues of our time,” says Gary S. Rachelefsky, MD, FAAAAI, initiative cochair and past president of the AAAAI. “The disturbing statistics on asthma in children demand a concerted initiative to ensure that our children receive the best care regardless of where they live and whether they see an asthma specialist, family physician, pediatrician, or other health provider. Asthma can and should be controlled.”

For further information, please contact the AAAAI at 414-272-6071 or visit their Web site at