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Relvar Ellipta’s benefits unclear in COPD treatment

Relvar Ellipta

There is insufficient evidence to recommend Relvar Ellipta over existing inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta2 agonist combinations, says DTB

The benefit of Relvar Ellipta — a new dry powder combination inhaler used once a day as maintenance treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — over twice-daily products is still unclear, according to the latest Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB).

The inhaler, which contains fluticasone furoate and vilanterol trifenatate, improves lung function compared with placebo and its individual components. But when its benefits are compared with a combination of fluticasone and salmeterol, the results are not “statistically significant”, the DTB review says.

Compared with vilanterol alone, the combination inhaler achieves a small reduction in moderate to severe exacerbations but makes no difference in the incidence of serious exacerbations requiring hospital admission, says the DTB.

The review urges healthcare professionals to note concerns raised over the potential for confusion over the name and colour of the device and concludes that there “is insufficient evidence to recommend fluticasone/vilanterol over existing inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta2 agonist combinations”.

The review comes three months after Relvar Ellipta and its use in the treatment of asthma was the focus of a National Institute for Health and care Excellence evidence summary.

The DTB points out that the review was solely about the performance of Revlar Ellipta in treating COPD. It said that a future issue will review the product’s use in the management of asthma.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11139055

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