It’s a Breezhaler!

Generally speaking, it is always preferable to opt for the fewest possible doses of a long-term medication a day.  Adherence is improved.

So the introduction by Novartis of a new once a day long-acting beta-adrenoceptor agonist for people with chronic obstructive airways disease (COPD) is welcome.  It does not yet have a licence for asthma.

The drug is called Indaceterol.  Its proprietary name is Onbrez.  It is a dry powder inhaler delivered through a device called the Breezhaler.

The capsules come in two strengths: 150 µg and 300 µg and the cost is exactly the same as the equivalent dose of salmeterol (£29.26 for 30 capsules).

All the data so far suggests that is at least as effective as existing treatments and may be more so.

Naturally, with drugs which act for a full 24-hours the timing of the dose is not important as long as it is approximately the same each day.

There is, as yet, no report from NICE but the pricing should ensure that it obtains a recommendation as the side effect profile seems excellent.

Find out more about both COPD and asthma on our Respiratory Disease Management training course, or our Asthma & COPD for Health Care Assistants study day.

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