New once-daily COPD Rx now available in US pharmacies

October 31, 2013

Fluticasone furoate and vilanterol inhalation powder (Breo Ellipta, GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance) once-daily for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is now available to pharmacies throughout the United States.

Fluticasone furoate and vilanterol inhalation powder (Breo Ellipta, GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance) once-daily for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is now available to pharmacies throughout the United States.

Breo Ellipta was FDA approved on May 10, 2013.

“The approval Breo Ellipta . . .can offer individuals with COPD the chance at improved quality of life and care by helping to reduce the number of possible exacerbations over an extended timeframe,” said Formulary advisor Abimbola Farinde, PharmD, MS, clinical staff pharmacist at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, Webster, Texas. “Breo Ellipta provides another treatment option that prescribers can choose from when it comes to effectively treating their patients with COPD.”

Breo Ellipta is a combination of the inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), fluticasone furoate (FF), and the long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA), vilanterol (VI) (FF/VI 100/25 µg). It is indicated for the long-term, once-daily, maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with COPD, including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema. The drug is also indicated to reduce exacerbations of COPD in patients with a history of exacerbations. Breo Ellipta is not indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm or for the treatment of asthma.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute estimates that as many as 27 million people in the United States alone are affected by COPD, a number that is predicted to increase.

Many people with COPD periodically experience exacerbations, a worsening of their COPD symptoms lasting a few days or longer, which may include an increase in shortness of breath, mucus production, cough, and a change in the color of sputum, fever, and fatigue. Exacerbations often require treatment with additional medications and sometimes hospitalization may be necessary. Daily COPD management is important to help prevent future exacerbations in patients with a history of them.