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Pulmonary Fibrosis

New Drug to Treat Pulmonary Fibrosis

02/04/2010

Question:

My consultant has mentioned that a new drug is being licensed and will be available in the US in April 2010. It will apparently reverse the scarring even in badly damaged lungs. Is this correct? I live in the UK, can I order and have it sent to me?

Answer:

I suspect that the drug you refer to is pirfenidone. It is currently under review by the United States Food and Drug Administration and it is anticipated that the FDA will decide whether to allow pirfenidone to be sold commercially by May 2010.

 

The recently released study involving pirfenidone did slightly slow down idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis but it did not stop it completely nor did it reverse the scar that has already formed. In other words, it is not a cure but it does appear to slow the disease. Pirfenidone is currently commercially available only in Japan but I do not know if it is possible to order it from another country.

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Response by:

James N Allen, Jr, MD James N Allen, Jr, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University