The SLS is a revolutionary randomised controlled clinical trial that has been carried out in everyday clinical practice and could significantly increase our understanding about the medicines doctors prescribe. It has been designed to explore how effective a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma is, when it is used in everyday clinical practice.
Traditionally the effectiveness and safety of a medicine would be tested through double-blind randomised controlled trials. These typically take place in a highly controlled setting, with very few unplanned changes to treatment once the trial starts.
The patients that take part in these trials are a specifically defined group that have to meet strict criteria to enter the trial. For example, patients who have a number of different illnesses would be excluded. The result is that the trials don’t always represent the patients that are prescribed these treatments.
The Salford Lung Study has turned that on its head, helping us to understand the real value of medicines when they are used by patients who are going about their normally daily lives.
The Study involves a broad and inclusive group of patients, and was designed to keep the patient experience as ‘normal’ as possible. Patients are seen by their own doctor or practice nurse, and pick up their prescription from their usual pharmacy.