Progressive airflow limitation is a hallmark feature of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that ultimately leads to breathlessness, impaired quality of life, and reduced exercise capacity. Pharmacotherapy is used in patients with COPD to prevent and control symptoms, reduce both the frequency and severity of exacerbations, improve health status, and increase exercise tolerance. These strategies are intended to address management issues which promote both current disease control and a reduction in the risk of disease deterioration in the future. At the present time, long-acting β 2-agonists (LABAs) and long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs) are available for maintenance therapy in patients with persistent symptoms. Tiotropium was the first LAMA to be approved for management of COPD, and many studies have described its beneficial effects on multiple clinically relevant outcomes. Glycopyrronium bromide (NVA237), a new LAMA, has been developed and received regulatory approval for management of COPD in a number of countries around the world. Results from pivotal Phase III trials suggest that NVA237 is safe and well tolerated in patients with moderate to severe COPD, and provides rapid and sustained improvements in lung function. Further, these changes are associated with statistically and clinically meaningful improvements in dyspnea, health-related quality of life, and exercise tolerance. Treatment with NVA237 also results in a significant reduction in risk of exacerbations and the need for rescue medication, and has been comparable with tiotropium with respect to safety and efficacy outcomes. Finally, emerging data indicate that NVA237 is efficacious both as monotherapy and in combination with indacaterol.