COPD drug accepted by NHS Scotland

Scotland's drug watchdog has accepted a new maintenance therapy for COPD for use in the NHS.

Consultation: GPs in Scotland now have further options for COPD
Consultation: GPs in Scotland now have further options for COPD

The decision by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) to accept aclidinium widens the choice for GPs treating COPD in adults.

Until now, tiotropium was the only other licensed long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) accepted for use in NHS Scotland.

Aclidinium, which is inhaled twice daily using the Genuair dry powder inhaler device, was found to improve lung function versus placebo after 12 and 24 weeks.

Results from two RCTs submitted by manufacturer Almirall showed both peak and trough FEV1 improved in the aclidinium group compared with placebo. Side effects were similar or less than with placebo.

A study comparing the six-week clinical effectiveness of aclidinium versus tiotropium is ongoing.

The SMC noted that due to the lower annual cost of aclidinium versus current standard care, the NHS could save over £400,000 within five years as use of the drug increases.

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