(HealthDay News) – A program to administer asthma medication each day to urban children with asthma reduces symptoms and is cost-effective, according to research published online Feb. 11 in Pediatrics.

Katia Noyes, PhD, MPH, from the University of Rochester in New York, and colleagues analyzed data from the School-Based Asthma Therapy program, a study involving 525 children (3–10 years old) with asthma attending urban schools who were randomized to receive either usual care or one dose of preventative asthma medication at school each school day.

The researchers found that, per 100 children who received preventative asthma medication, the health benefit was equivalent to approximately 158 symptom-free days per 30 days. The program cost an additional $4,822 per 100 children per month, based on wages for program staff. The net savings, as assessed by reduced medical costs, reduced lost parental time due to childhood illness, and improved school attendance, was $3,240. The cost-effectiveness of the program was $10 per symptom-free day gained.

“The School-Based Asthma Therapy [program] was effective and cost-effective in reducing symptoms in urban children with asthma compared with other existing programs,” Noyes and colleagues conclude.

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