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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2010
Seniors 50 and older are invited to participate in conversation, chair exercises, Mahjong and card games, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Thursday, Mason Park, gym, 10500 Mason Ave., Chatsworth. Bring your own lunch. 818-534-7100.
The singer-songwriter will sign his children’s book “Waking Up is Hard to Do,” 6 p.m. today, Borders, 14651 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. 818-728-6593.
Native Indian talk
Graywolf will discuss the history and culture of the Chumash at a meeting of the Santa Susana Mountain Park Association, 7:15 p.m. today, Rockpointe Clubhouse, 22300 Devonshire St., Chatsworth. 818-998-3196. www.ssmpa.com.
RESEARCH: Firm’s decision to not donate medicine increases cost of study.
By Alicia Chang The Associated Press
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Scientists forced to pay for asthma drug
Researchers in Los Angeles say they’ve found a possible new treatment for adults with hard-to-control asthma. Their discovery, however, came at a price. Scientists of a U.S. governmentfunded asthma study had to spend nearly $1 million of taxpayers’ money after British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC declined to donate its asthma drug and look-alike dummy medicine for the study, which compared two other treatments. Editors of the New England Journal of Medicine, which published the study, chastised Glaxo, saying its actions made the research harder and more expensive to do. Drug companies aren’t required to supply their medicines for study, but they often do. “In the end, the study results provided the truth” — the drug, Spiriva, was as good as Glaxo’s Serevent, they wrote. The study was published online Sunday to coincide with a presentation at a medical meeting in Barcelona, Spain. About 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma. In the U.S., 22 million Americans have asthma, which kills about 4,000 a year. For people who can’t control their asthma with inhaled steroid medicine, current guidelines call for doubling the dose or adding a different drug that relaxes the muscles to help patients breathe. Researchers tested three inhaled treatments: doubling the steroid dose, adding Glaxo’s Serevent or adding Boehringer Ingelheim’s Spiriva, which is approved for emphysema and other chronic lung conditions, but not asthma. The study involved 210 people whose asthma was not well controlled. They took each drug for 14 weeks with two-week breaks in between treatment. Researchers found Spiriva worked better than a double steroid dose and was as effective as Serevent. When the study first began, patients on average had 77 asthma-free days a year — days in which they had no symptoms and did not have to use their rescue inhaler. Doubling the steroid medicine gave patients an extra 19 asthma-free days; taking Spiriva gave them an additional 48 days with no symptoms, and taking Serevent gave them an extra 51 days. Spiriva is a promising alternative asthma treatment and some doctors are already using it in people who don’t respond to steroid medicine, but more study on drug safety is needed, Dr. Lewis Smith of Northwestern University wrote in an accompanying editorial. Two years ago, safety concerns were raised with Spiriva inhalers. But the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year said recent data do not show a connection between the inhaler and previously reported risks of stroke, heart attack and death. The $5.3 million study was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries supplied the inhaled steroid medicine and Boehringer Ingelheim provided Spiriva. Both companies also donated matching placebos. Researchers bought Glaxo’s Serevent. Glaxo declined to participate because Spiriva is not approved for treating asthma. The company also “lacked adequate information in this case to understand what the impact would be on patients in the trial,” said company spokeswoman Mary Anne Rhyne. The study’s leader, Dr. Stephen Peters of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, said that since his team did not have access to Glaxo’s drug, they bought it from a third-party supplier and hired another company to make the placebo — at a cost of $900,000. Peters said it’s harder to get drug companies to donate their medicine for research compared with a decade ago. “Now more drug companies are more likely to ponder whether a trial could help them in the marketplace” and decline to provide their products for studies, Peter said.
Randy Quaid, wife arrested
ALLEGATIONS: They are accused of living in a guest house without permission.
By The Associated Press
Jeff Gritchen Staff Photographer
Nick, left, Kevin and Joe Jonas, on the Road Dogs team, pose before their softball game at Blair Field in Long Beach.
SENDING A MESSAGE
Jonas Brothers play in softball tour promoting driver safety
By Kelly Puente Staff Writer
LONG BEACH — The stands rang with deafening shrieks when boy band heartthrobs the Jonas Brothers each went up to bat in Blair Field on Sunday. “Why does he have to be so cute?” sighed 15-year-old Lauren Harting of San Diego as she caught a glimpse of Nick Jonas in his blue and white uniform. “He’s just so ... I don’t know!” Hundreds of screaming young girls flocked to Cal State Long Beach’s Blair Field near Wilson High School to see music sensations Joe, 21; Kevin, 22; and Nick, 18, play softball with their team the Road Dogs. The game against the Marquis Jet Flyers was part of the brothers’ 12-city softball tour this year in support of Allstate insurance’s “X the TXT” campaign to educate teens
ONLINE POLL: Do you text while driving? Vote at dailynews.com.
SANTA BARBARA — Actor Randy Quaid and his wife are facing burglary charges in California after the owner of the couple’s old house reported they had been living there without permission. A representative of the property owner called Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies Saturday afternoon to report that squatters had been staying in the guest house illegally. When deputies arrived at the house that evening, they found Randy and Evi Quaid, who said they had owned the property since the 1990s. The property owner’s representative provided documents that showed his client had bought the home in 2007 from a man who had purchased it from the Quaids several years earlier. A contractor showed police more than $5,000 in
damage to the guest house that he believed was caused by the Quaids. Police arrested the Quaids on charges of felony residential burglary and entering a noncommercial building without consent, a misdemeanor. Police also charged Evi Quaid, 47, with resisting arrest. Bail was set at $50,000 each. Messages left with Quaid’s attorney and agent were not immediately returned Sunday. Last September, the couple was charged with defrauding an innkeeper of more than $10,000 as well as conspiracy and burglary after an invalid credit card was used at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito. Senior Deputy District Attorney Arnie Tolks had said an invalid card also was used at The Biltmore, a luxury resort in Santa Barbara. Felony charges were later dropped against Randy Quaid, 59. Evi Quaid pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of defrauding an innkeeper and was sentenced to three years’ probation. She was also ordered to perform 240 hours of community service.
Jennifer Haro, left, and Andrea Delrayo show off their blue thumbs after pledging not to text while driving.
about the dangers of texting Long Beach box office. while driving. Long Beach Decked out in Jonas Brothwas the last stop on the trip. ers T-shirts and holding up More than 1,200 free tick- signs saying, “I love you Joe!” ets to the game were given and “Nick, we have the same away in less two hours on birthday!” fans screamed as Wednesday to lucky fans who Nick Jonas hit a ground ball lined up outside the Cal State and pulled in safe on first. firstname.lastname@example.org
They booed as the Marquis pitcher caught Kevin Jonas’ fly ball. During the game, more than a thousand fans joined the brothers in pledging not to text while driving by adding their thumbprint to a banner. The brothers said they chose to support the campaign to help raise awareness. “Even if you’re not old enough to drive, you can spread the message to your friends and family,” Joe Jonas said. “We want everyone to be safe on the roads.”
David Crane Staff Photographer
MESSAGES OF PEACE
Giant peace dove puppets are paraded at the Santa Monica Pier on Sunday as part of International Day of Peace.
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