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Inhaler switching study shows reduction in costs



Switching patients to a beclomethasone/formoterol inhaler can significantly boost asthma control and reduce costs, suggests a new study.

The study found using a beclomethasone/formoterol inhaler (Fostair) versus a fluticasone/salmeterol inhaler (Seretide) could reduce asthma-related costs by £93.63 per patient annually.

Reasearchers reached their conclusion after examining retrospective records of 1,528 patients, including 1,146 using fluticasone/salmeterol and 382 who had been using fluticasone/salmeterol but then were switched to beclomethasone/formoterol at an equivalent or lower dosage.

The study – published in the Primary Care Respiratory Journal last month – found that the chance of achieving overall asthma control was 50% higher in those treated with beclomethasone/formoterol, compared with fluticasone/salmeterol, when considering factors such as frequency of asthma-related hospitalisations and bronchial infection rates.

The incidence of severe exacerbations was roughly the same in both groups.

Study researcher Dr Dermot Ryan, a GP in Loughborough and clinical respiratory lead for the NHS East Midlands Area Team, said: ‘The study demonstrates that the benefits of switching that have been observed in randomised clinical trials can be replicated in a real world setting.’