Doctor computer systemThe All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) has issued guidance on Relvar Ellipta 92/22mcg for use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) within NHS Wales.

This recommendation for Relvar Ellipta, which was licensed at the end of 2013 in both asthma and COPD, means health boards across Wales now have positive advice that will allow appropriate COPD patients access to the first inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta agonist (ICS/LABA) combination which provides continuous 24-hour efficacy in a once-daily dose.

Dr Stephen McDonough, Medical Director UK, GSK: “We are delighted by this positive recommendation from the AWMSG which will provide clinicians with what we believe is an important option that will enable them to tailor treatment for individual patient needs.”

The AWMSG recommendation is in line with Relvar Ellipta’s licensed indication in COPD. It states: “Fluticasone furoate/vilanterol (as trifenatate) (Relvar Ellipta) is recommended as an option for use within NHS Wales for the symptomatic treatment of adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with a FEV1< 70% predicted normal (post-bronchodilator) with an exacerbation history despite regular bronchodilator therapy.” 

This ICS/LABA combination treatment in a new inhaler device contributes towards the management of COPD by helping to alleviate symptoms experienced by people living with the condition. It contains two molecules - fluticasone furoate and vilanterol – which work to reduce airway inflammation and relax airway muscles. 

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. Over 66,000 people are currently living with COPD in Wales,8 however the burden of COPD is widely recognised to be underestimated, with as many as two thirds of cases undiagnosed. 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 January 2014 and marketing authorisation approval by the European Commission in November 2013. 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.

Further information: Increase in COPD in the UK