The Salford Lung Project, in Greater Manchester, involves 54 GP practices and local community pharmacies and will examine the effectiveness of a new therapy being developed for COPD and asthma patients.
GPs will be able to prescribe the drug as they would normally prescribe any other treatment and patients will collect prescriptions from local pharmacies.
Patients taking part in the trial will receive either current best therapy or the new drug, an as-yet-unlicensed once-daily inhaled therapy which combines a corticosteroid and a long-acting beta-agonist.
Around 4,000 COPD patients and 5,000 asthma patients will be enrolled in the year-long study.
The project will make use of the integrated electronic patient record used across primary and secondary care in Salford to gather data.
Salford GP Dr Sheila McCorkindale said that the project was ‘really exciting’ for those who are involved in primary care locally.
‘Because I’ve been a resident of Salford all my life, I think it’s tremendous that it is taking place here,’ she said.
Dr McCorkindale also welcomed the fact that the trial would collect ‘crucial’ real-world data on the effectiveness of treatment.
‘A lot of patients out there have complex conditions, complex medication regimens and social problems to deal with,’ she told GP.
‘People in clinical trials sometimes do well because they are monitored so closely.’
Dr McCorkindale said that lay people she had asked had shown interest in taking part. She said they hoped their involvement would improve their lives and those of others.
‘The other important thing about being involved in a big study is that it raises awareness of lung diseases,’ she said. ‘People may think they need to go to their GP about their cough. I hope it will contribute to increasing the quality of life of all the people in Salford.’