1. ITV Report

Green-light for new Miner's Lung treatment

The new treatment for COPD or Miner's Lung, comes in the form of an inhaler. Photo: ITV News Wales

Lung disease is one of Wales' biggest killers but now a new treatment for could mean relief for thousands of people.

Last year more than 46,000 people who have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), also known as Miner's Lung, were admitted to hospitals here as emergency cases.

Sufferers are now welcoming the news that a new drug has been licensed to tackle the symptoms of COPD has been welcomed by sufferers.

As someone with COPD, even making a cup of tea can leave Margaret Barnard from Neath out of breath.

Anything that can help me to have a normal life, I welcome with open arms. I have incidents where I'm really irritated by it. A couple of weeks ago we went on the beach with our grandchildren but I couldn't go down there because I knew I couldn't get back up again. So I had to sit and watch them from the top of the shingle while they played on the sand.

– Margaret Barnard, COPD sufferer

But in the future, Margaret may benefit from a new drug called Aclidinium, which has just been licensed here to treat the symptoms.

Aclidinium works by relaxing the muscles in the tubes of the lung, helping to open up the airway.

Patients will take the drug as a dry powder using an inhaler.

Tests show that Aclidinium could reduce the number of lung flare-ups which can lead to hospitalisation.

There may be discreet benefits as we start to use it, as more trials data becomes available, we may well find facets of extra care that it offers.

At this stage it's difficult to say, but it's likely that this drug will find a place in that range of drugs we're using.

– Dennis Shale, Professor of Respiratory Medicine