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      A Comparison of the Real-Life Clinical Effectiveness of the Leading Licensed ICS/LABA Combination Inhalers in the Treatment for COPD

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          The Fostair® 100/6 (BDP/FF) pressurized metered-dose inhaler, delivering an extrafine formulation, is licensed for asthma and COPD in the UK. However, its real-life effectiveness for COPD has not been evaluated. This study compared the clinical effectiveness of BDP/FF against other licensed ICS/LABA combination inhalers: the Seretide® Accuhaler® (FP/SAL) and the Symbicort® Turbohaler® (BUD/FF).


          A matched historical cohort study was conducted using records of patients with diagnostic codes for COPD from the Optimum Patient Care Research Database (OPCRD). Patients who had received BDP/FF as their first ICS/LABA were matched 1:1 with patients who had received FP/SAL or BUD/FF, resulting in two matched comparisons. Additional analysis was conducted on patients who had never had diagnostic codes for asthma. Noninferiority in terms of the proportion of patients with moderate/severe COPD exacerbations on the different inhalers in the following year was assessed. Noninferiority was achieved if the upper CI limit were ≤1.2.


          This study included 537 and 540 patient pairs in the BDP/FF vs FP/SAL cohort and the BDP/FF vs BUD/FF cohort, respectively. The proportion of patients with COPD exacerbations in the BDP/FF group was not significantly different from either the FP/SAL (68.7% vs 70.2%, AOR 0.89, 95% CI 0.67–1.19) or BUD/FF group (68.5% vs 69.4%, AOR 0.79, 95% CI 0.58–1.08). Noninferiority of BDP/FF in preventing COPD exacerbations was fulfilled in both comparisons. In patients without asthma, BDP/FF was also noninferior to BUD/FF (proportion with COPD exacerbations, 67.8% vs 64.7%, AOR 0.79, 95% CI 0.51–1.1997). Additionally, a significantly lower proportion of patients prescribed BDP/FF had COPD exacerbations than FP/SAL (64.8% vs 73.7%, AOR 0.64 95% CI 0.43–0.96).


          Initiating ICS/LABA treatment of COPD with extrafine-formulation BDP/FF was noninferior in preventing moderate/severe exacerbations compared to FP/SAL and BUD/FF.

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          Most cited references 28

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          The assessment of refill compliance using pharmacy records: Methods, validity, and applications

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            Management of COPD in the UK primary-care setting: an analysis of real-life prescribing patterns

            Background Despite the availability of national and international guidelines, evidence suggests that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment is not always prescribed according to recommendations. This study evaluated the current management of patients with COPD using a large UK primary-care database. Methods This analysis used electronic patient records and patient-completed questionnaires from the Optimum Patient Care Research Database. Data on current management were analyzed by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) group and presence or absence of a concomitant asthma diagnosis, in patients with a COPD diagnosis at ≥35 years of age and with spirometry results supportive of the COPD diagnosis. Results A total of 24,957 patients were analyzed, of whom 13,557 (54.3%) had moderate airflow limitation (GOLD Stage 2 COPD). The proportion of patients not receiving pharmacologic treatment for COPD was 17.0% in the total COPD population and 17.7% in the GOLD Stage 2 subset. Approximately 50% of patients in both cohorts were receiving inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), either in combination with a long-acting β2-agonist (LABA; 26.7% for both cohorts) or a LABA and a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA; 23.2% and 19.9%, respectively). ICS + LABA and ICS + LABA + LAMA were the most frequently used treatments in GOLD Groups A and B. Of patients without concomitant asthma, 53.7% of the total COPD population and 50.2% of the GOLD Stage 2 subset were receiving ICS. Of patients with GOLD Stage 2 COPD and no exacerbations in the previous year, 49% were prescribed ICS. A high proportion of GOLD Stage 2 COPD patients were symptomatic on their current management (36.6% with modified Medical Research Council score ≥2; 76.4% with COPD Assessment Test score ≥10). Conclusion COPD is not treated according to GOLD and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommendations in the UK primary-care setting. Some patients receive no treatment despite experiencing symptoms. Among those on treatment, most receive ICS irrespective of severity of airflow limitation, asthma diagnosis, and exacerbation history. Many patients on treatment continue to have symptoms.
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              Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation and inhaler device handling: real-life assessment of 2935 patients.

              Acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be prevented by inhaled treatment. Errors in inhaler handling, not taken into account in clinical trials, could impact drug delivery and minimise treatment benefit. We aimed to assess real-life inhaler device handling in COPD patients and its association with COPD exacerbations.To this end, 212 general practitioners and 50 pulmonologists assessed the handling of 3393 devices used for continuous treatment of COPD in 2935 patients. Handling errors were observed in over 50% of handlings, regardless of the device used. Critical errors compromising drug delivery were respectively made in 15.4%, 21.2%, 29.3%, 43.8%, 46.9% and 32.1% of inhalation assessment tests with Breezhaler® (n=876), Diskus® (n=452), Handihaler® (n=598), pressurised metered-dose inhaler (pMDI) (n=422), Respimat® (n=625) and Turbuhaler® (n=420).The proportion of patients requiring hospitalisation or emergency room visits in the past 3 months for severe COPD exacerbation was 3.3% (95% CI 2.0-4.5) in the absence of error and 6.9% (95% CI 5.3-8.5) in the presence of critical error (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.14-3.04, p<0.05).Handling errors of inhaler devices are underestimated in real life and are associated with an increased rate of severe COPD exacerbation. Training in inhaler use is an integral part of COPD management.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                26 November 2020
                : 15
                : 3093-3103
                [1 ]Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute , Singapore, Singapore
                [2 ]Centre of Academic Primary Care, Division of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen , Aberdeen, UK
                [3 ]Optimum Patient Care , Cambridge, UK
                [4 ]Peterhead Health Centre , Aberdeen, UK
                [5 ]Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Careggi University Hospital , Florence, Italy
                [6 ]University of Ferrara , Ferrara, Italy
                [7 ]University of Manchester, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust , Manchester, UK
                [8 ]Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital , Exeter, UK
                [9 ]UCL Respiratory , University College London , London, UK
                [10 ]Chiesi Limited , Manchester, UK
                [11 ]General Practitioners Research Institute , Groningen, the Netherlands
                [12 ]University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, GRIAC Research Institute , Groningen, the Netherlands
                Author notes
                Correspondence: David B Price Centre of Academic Primary Care, Division of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen , Polwarth Building, Foresterhill, AberdeenAB25 2ZD, UKTel +65 6802 9724 Email
                © 2020 Ming et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, References: 37, Pages: 11
                Funded by: Chiesi Limited;
                This study was funded by Chiesi Limited. The sponsor is involved in the design and presentation of the study.
                Original Research


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