The first inhaled corticosteroid/long acting beta2-agonist (ICS/LABA) combination to provide continuous 24-hour efficacy for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a practical once-daily dose has been launched.

Relvar is a combination of the inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), fluticasone furoate and the long-acting beta2-agonist, vilanterol and is the first ICS/LABA to launch with both an asthma and COPD indication at the same time. Two strengths have been approved for the treatment of asthma (92/22mcg and 184/22mcg) and one strength has been approved for COPD (92/22mcg). All strengths will be administered once-daily using the Ellipta, a new dry powder inhaler.

Respiratory disease is a growing problem in the UK with over 5 million people living with asthma and approximately 900,000 people currently diagnosed with COPD. The NHS spends around £1 billion a year treating and caring for people with asthma, and for COPD the costs are estimated to be over £800 million.

Dr. Dominick Shaw, Associate Clinical Professor and Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at Nottingham Respiratory Research Unit, said: “Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are chronic lung diseases that affect millions of people in the UK. They can severely affect a person’s ability to lead a normal life. Both diseases are associated with attacks - exacerbations of the underlying disease, often triggered by infection, where symptoms worsen, breathing becomes even harder and treatment with high dose oral steroids can be required. People with attacks often require an admission to hospital to treat their disease. The mainstay of treatment for improving symptoms and reducing attacks for both asthma and COPD is inhaled medication; the release of Relvar Ellipta is a welcome addition in the fight against these chronic lung diseases.”