Happy old peopleThe All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) now recommends Incruse® Ellipta® 55mcg (umeclidinium) for use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary (COPD) within NHS Wales.

The recommendation for umeclidinium means health boards across Wales now have advice that will allow appropriate patients with COPD access to a once-daily long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA), a type of bronchodilator also known as an anticholinergic, which can relax airway muscles and improve airflow in and out of the lungs.

When used in combination with Relvar® Ellipta® 92/22mcg (fluticasone furoate/vilanterol), licensed in COPD and recommended by AWMSG for use in Wales in May 2014, it is the first and only triple therapy option for COPD in the same type of inhaler.

Dr Stephen McDonough, Medical Director UK, GSK: “We are delighted by this positive recommendation from the AWMSG for Incruse Ellipta. Adding a LAMA to our portfolio in the Ellipta inhaler will allow clinicians to tailor treatments to patients’ needs whilst reducing the need for patients to change to different types of inhaler.”

Respiratory disease is a growing problem in Wales; it’s the cause of in one in seven of all deaths and the third largest cause of death for both women and men.3 Optimising care in respiratory disease is a key priority in Wales, with the Welsh Government recently announcing a new Respiratory Health Delivery Plan, a three year plan for respiratory health services.
The AWMSG decision follows the launch of this treatment in the UK in October 2014 and marketing authorisation approval by the European Commission in April 2014. The remit of the AWMSG is to provide advice for the use of newly licensed drugs that represent demonstrable value for money to NHS Wales.