Acute Exacerbations of Asthma/COPD
Data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that visits to emergency departments for asthma increased from approximately 1.5 million in 1992 to approximately 1.7 million in 2006. Despite significant improvements in the treatment for asthma over the past 20 years, there has not been a corresponding decrease in either hospitalizations or deaths due to asthma according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that approximately 444,000 hospital discharges were attributed to asthma in 2006. In addition, there were approximately 2,563 deaths due to asthma during 2006. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the direct costs associated with hospital care due to asthma were $4.7 billion in 2007.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated ten million adults had a diagnosis of COPD in the United States in the year 2000. In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the year 2000, there were 119,000 deaths, 726,000 hospitalizations, and 1.5 million hospital emergency department visits due to COPD in the United States. According to a more recent report on respiratory diseases from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health, the prevalence and age-adjusted death rate for COPD increased more than 30 percent since 1980. The same report also indicated that the direct costs of health care services and indirect costs through loss of productivity related to COPD amounted to approximately $26 billion in 1998. In 2002, according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) direct costs for COPD were approximately $18.0 billion and indirect costs were approximately $14.1 billion in the United States. In 2007, according to the American Lung Association, the direct costs for COPD were approximately $26.7 billion and indirect costs were approximately $15.9 billion in the United States.
“Acute asthma exacerbations, which are asthma attacks not controlled by a patient’s medications, represent a major cause of ED visits and hospitalizations for many of the 26 million people with asthma in this country,” said lead investigator Dr. Lawrence Lewis, M.D., of Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO. “If the asthma attack can’t be effectively treated in the ED, these patients are usually admitted to the hospital for further treatment, a costly alternative for patients and a significant drain on healthcare resources. Unfortunately, we are limited to only a few medications that have been shown to help in the emergency treatment of asthma exacerbation,and often the patient has already tried most of these medications at home. There is clearly an unmet need for more effective treatments for the emergency care of this condition. We are very pleased that MediciNova will continue development of MN-221 to address this unmet medical need.”
MediciNova believes that there remains an unmet medical need for a safe and effective treatment for acute exacerbations of asthma and COPD that could prevent some of these hospitalizations.