A new once-daily inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta-2-agonist combination inhaler for treatment of both asthma and COPD is available on the NHS from this week.
The new inhaler, from manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, is a combination of fluticasone furoate and vilanterol administered with a dry powder inhaler that is effective for 24 hours.
It is available in high and low-mid ICS dose strengths – 92/22 mcg and 184/22 mcg – for asthma, while only the low-mid, 92/22 mcg dose is approved for use in COPD.
The cost of the Relvar Ellipta inhaler comes in at £27.80 for the low-mid dose and £38.87 for the high-dose version.
This compares with £18 for the Seretide 100 Accuhaler containing fluticasone propionate 100 mcg and salmeterol 50 mcg.
Dr Kevin Gruffydd-Jones, RCGP respiratory clinical lead and a GP in Box, Wiltshire, said the inhaler could offer a potential advantage in terms of improved adherence for some patients with COPD in particular.
Dr Gruffydd-Jones told Pulse: ‘I think it’s a very welcome new addition to the respiratory drugs we have. There are potential cost savings for the NHS with its use in some patients, especially among patients with COPD. It appears to be a very user friendly device and for some patients this may be an advantage.’