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FDA approves once-a-day inhaler drug for patients with chronic lung disease

WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new long-acting inhaler drug from Boehringer Ingelheim to treat people with chronic lung disease.

The agency approved Striverdi Respimat for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which causes bronchitis and emphysema and affects about 24 million people in the U.S. The disease, which is most often caused by smoking, is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health.

The FDA approved the drug on Thursday based on a study in 3,104 patients which showed improvements in lung function versus placebo.

The drug will carry a bold warning that it is not approved to treat patients with asthma. Striverdi Respimate is part of a family of medications that have been linked to asthma-related deaths.

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