Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals recently announced that SPIRIVA RESPIMAT, a new inhaled medicine for maintenance treatment of asthma, is now available by prescription in U.S. pharmacies for adults and adolescents.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a once-daily dose of SPIRIVA RESPIMAT of 2.5 micrograms (two puffs at 1.25 micrograms each), in people who are older than 12. SPIRIVA RESPIMAT is not recommended for sudden asthma symptoms — the maximum benefits of this treatment might take four to eight weeks of dosing.
“Despite taking other daily maintenance treatments, many people with asthma continue to experience symptoms, including coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath,” Dr. Michael B. Foggs, the company’s chief of allergy and immunology, said in a press release. “For these patients, adding SPIRIVA RESPIMAT to maintenance controller therapy may help open airways to improve breathing and reduce the likelihood of asthma flare-ups or exacerbations.”
Asthma exacerbations are usually characterized by a progressive increase in symptoms, such as cough, chest tightness or shortness of breath, or a decrease in a patient’s best morning peak expiratory flow (PEF).
Unlike other asthma maintenance treatments for daily use, SPIRIVA RESPIMAT belongs to a class of medicines known as long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs), the first new class of inhaled treatments approved in over a decade. LAMAs are steroid-free and not like long-acting beta agonists (LABAs).
The FDA approved SPIRIVA RESPIMAT for asthma based on the efficacy and safety data from a comprehensive clinical program which included 12 trials in about 5,000 adults and adolescents with mild, moderate and severe forms of the disease, on at least one inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) or ICS/LABA.
Formulary access for SPIRIVA RESPIMAT in asthma is already favorable and covered by the majority of insurance plans, similarly to the medicine’s formulary access in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). SPIRIVA RESPIMAT is also approved as a once-daily dose of 5 micrograms (delivered in 2 puffs of 2.5 micrograms each) for the maintenance treatment of COPD.
“As an industry leader in respiratory, Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to addressing unmet needs and to improving patient care for those with serious respiratory diseases, such as asthma,” commented Boehringer Ingelheim Vice President Clare Burrows. “The approval of SPIRIVA RESPIMAT marks our entrance into the asthma space and we are proud to offer a new approach for healthcare providers and patients to consider for the treatment of asthma.”
Boehringer Ingelheim is offering a savings card that will allow most eligible people to obtain SPIRIVA RESPIMAT for the treatment of asthma at no cost for 12 months.