Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: In their study comparing the
efficacy of inhaled corticosteroids (ICs), salmeterol monotherapy, and placebo,1 Dr Lazarus and colleagues concluded that it is
probably unsafe to switch patients with moderate persistent asthma from ICs
to monotherapy with salmeterol. Some patients received placebo, and all patients
received a placebo during a 6-week run-out period at the end of the study.
Although the study protocol was approved by a federal protocol review committee
and the institutional review boards at each of the clinical sites, the report
did not fully address several complex and controversial ethical issues in
the study design.
Botkin JR, Clayton E, Nelson R, Wilfond B, Munger MA. Salmeterol and Inhaled Corticosteroids in Patients With Persistent Asthma. JAMA. 2001;286(24):3075-3078. doi:10.1001/jama.286.24.3075