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Clin Chest Med. 2012 Sep;33(3):571-83. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2012.06.008. Epub 2012 Aug 2.

Severe asthma in adults: an orphan disease?

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7th Respiratory Department and Asthma Centre, Athens Chest Hospital, 152 Mesogion Avenue, Athens 11527, Greece.


Severe asthma affects fewer than 10% of patients with asthma, is associated with a severe risk of death and disability, has a great impact on health and quality of life, and represents a huge cost to patients and society. Given the poor response to treatment and the side effects associated with medications for severe asthma, more efficient, cost-effective, and phenotype-specific medications are needed. Considering severe asthma as an orphan disease could encourage the pharmaceutical industry to stratify studies based on a more detailed characterization of study subjects at baseline, resulting in the development of novel therapeutic approaches.

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