Marija Vukoja 1 , 2 , Ivan Kopitovic 1 , 2 , Zorica Lazic 3 , 4 , Branislava Milenkovic 5 , 6 , Ivana Stankovic 7 , 8 , Biljana Zvezdin 1 , 2 , Aleksandra Dudvarski Ilic 5 , 6 , Ivan Cekerevac 3 , 4 , Miodrag Vukcevic 6 , 9 , Vladimir Zugic 5 , 6 , Sanja Hromis 1 , 2
02 September 2019
In recent years, several national chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) guidelines have been issued. In Serbia, the burden of COPD is high and most of the patients are diagnosed at late stages. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) strategy is poorly implemented in real-life practice, as many patients are still prescribed inhaled corticosteroids (ICS)-containing regimens and slow-release theophylline. In this document, we propose an algorithm for treating COPD patients in Serbia based on national experts’ opinion, taking into account global recommendations and recent findings from clinical trials that are tailored according to local needs. We identified four major components of COPD treatment based on country specifics: active case finding and early diagnosis in high-risk population, therapeutic algorithm for initiation and escalation of therapy that is simple and easy to use in real-life practice, de-escalation of ICS in low-risk non-exacerbators, and individual choice of inhaler device based on patients' ability and preferences. With this approach we aim to facilitate implementation of the recommendation, initiate the treatment in early stages, improve cost-effectiveness, reduce possible side effects, and ensure efficient treatment.