Study: Anoro Increases Adherence and Lowers Costs in COPD

Investigators found patients with COPD taking Anoro Ellipta had low overall on-treatment exacerbation rates, which can reduce medical costs due to increased adherence to therapy.

Patients taking GlaxoSmithKline’s Anoro Ellipta (umeclidinium/vilanterol) for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) had a longer on-treatment period, better medication adherence, and lower total COPD-related medical costs than patients who took Boehringer-Ingelheim’s Spiriva (tiotropium), according to a study published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine.

In this retrospective study, U.S. claims data were used to evaluate on-treatment COPD-related exacerbations and medical costs, as well as medication adherence in patients with COPD initiating maintenance therapy with Anoro or Spiriva. Spiriva is a long-acting muscarinic antagonist. Anoro Ellipta is a combination of a long-acting muscarinic antagonist and a long-acting β2-agonist.

Poor medication adherence among patients with COPD is associated with more frequent hospital admissions, increased mortality, and higher health care costs than for patients who are more adherent to their COPD treatment. In a study from 2015 of more than 50,000 COPD patients, investigators found 44.3% experienced at least one exacerbation, which led to sevenfold difference in costs.

Medication adherence is important for managing symptoms and healthcare utilization, according to a recent study. Poor adherence is associated with more frequent hospital admissions and costs.

In the current study, investigators evaluated 3,929 matched patients. They found that the proportion of days covered and the proportion of patients achieving adherence were significantly higher in patients treated with Anoro than those treated with Spiriva.

At three months, fewer patients treated with Anoro experienced moderate exacerbation compared with those treated with Spiriva. Investigators found that there were no significant differences in moderate and severe exacerbations detected between cohorts.

Investigators found that mean on-treatment total medical costs per patient per month were $228 lower for patients treated with Anoro compared with Spiriva. The difference was driven by lower costs related to outpatient visits. Investigators speculated that this could be attributed to better adherence with Anoro.

“Our findings support those of several economic modeling analyses from the US, UK, and Spain, which have found that Anoro may be considered a more cost-effective treatment compared with Spiriva,” investigators wrote. “Together, these data provide important insights for payers in a growing market of long-acting muscarinic antagonists and combination of a long-acting muscarinic antagonist and a long-acting β2-agonist combination therapies for the treatment of COPD.”