After being recently launched in the UK, the Ultibro® Breezhaler® has been added to the list of medications recognized by the Régie de l’assurance malady du Québec (RAMQ) as a “Médicament d’exception,” and is now available to Quebec patients who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The device is indicated as a treatment for COPD patients whose symptoms remain poorly controlled even after a 3-month trial with a long-acting bronchodilator. Novartis‘ Ultibro® Breezhaler® is now available in pharmacies across the region, making the Quebec government the first Canadian public health payer to reimburse the medication.
Dr. Jean Bourbeau, who is the Director of the Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit (RECRU), at Montreal Chest Institute, McGill Health Center, said in a press release: “It is great news that patients in Quebec will now have access to this important long- acting bronchodilator combination therapy. A new treatment option which is taken once daily to improve lung function and reduce flare-ups is a welcome advance for my patients.”
The Ultibro Breezhaler (Indacaterol 110 mcg / glycopyrronium bromide 50 mcg) is a fixed-dose combination (FDC) of the active ingredients of two bronchodilators, Onbrez® Breezhaler® (indacaterol maleate), a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA) and Seebri® Breezhaler® (glycopyrronium bromide), a long-acting anticholinergic (LAAC). At present, these are both still used as individual therapies by healthcare professionals to address to treat COPD in Canada.
In other COPD developments, Theravance Biopharma, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule medicines across a number of therapeutic areas including respiratory disease, bacterial infections, central nervous system (CNS)/pain and gastrointestinal (GI) motility dysfunction, has announced it has partnered with global generic and specialty pharmaceuticals company, Mylan Inc. The two companies will be collaborating on developing and commercializing TD-4208, a novel investigational once-daily nebulized long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory diseases.