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Survey: Ellipta Most Likely to Replace Spiriva for Treatment of COPD

Sales of LABA/LAMA drug class expected to triple over next 6 months

In a survey conducted by Decision Resources Group, a health care research firm located in Burlington, Mass., two-thirds of surveyed pulmonologists indicated that Spiriva (tiotropium bromide, Boehringer Ingelheim) is the agent most likely to be replaced by the first-in-class long-acting beta agonist/long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LABA/LAMA) combination agent Anoro Ellipta (umeclidinium/vilanterol, GlaxoSmithKline/Theravance).

Surveyed physicians reported that, of the Anoro Ellipta patients who were switched from another chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) agent, two-thirds were switched from Spiriva.

Pulmonologists expected their use of the LABA/LAMA drug class to nearly triple in the next 6 months.

The fact that most of the physicians planned to use LABA/LAMA combinations as second-line agents explains why many of them anticipated replacing Spiriva with Anoro Ellipta.

Almost half of pulmonologists indicated that the main benefit of Anoro Ellipta is that it is the first LABA/LAMA combination drug approved in the U.S.

Cost was identified as the single greatest disadvantage of Anoro Ellipta, according to nearly one-quarter of pulmonologists.

Analyst Jen Dolga remarked: “Although cost is cited as the greatest disadvantage of Anoro Ellipta, it is possible that when physicians become more familiar with the combination inhaler and take into consideration the fact that patients are paying only one fee for the combination inhaler rather than paying for a LABA and a LAMA separately, we may see a decline in the percentage of pulmonologists who list cost as the ultimate drawback.”

Source: Decision Resources Group; August 26, 2014.

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