Key inhaler information, including compliance by patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), along with educating patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs), will be one of the highlights of this year’s 13th Annual Asthma & COPD Conference on March 29-30 in in London, England.
Monica Fletcher, CEO of of education for health and chair of the UK Inhaler Group (UKIG), will give a presentation titled “Maximizing the use and impact of inhaled therapies; addressing the true needs of patients and HCPs.” She will explore critical questions about inhalers, including how patients and HCPs describe the devices, how patients and HCPs can be educated on their use, and whether technology helps or hinders patient adherence.
The appropriate use of inhaled therapies for asthma and COPD is critical to ensuring good patient outcomes, efficient use of healthcare resources, and limiting high morbidity.
Last year, concerns were raised regarding the turquoise-blue color on the Duaklir Genuair (aclidinium bromide/formoterol fumarate 340/12 mcg) inhaler and the potential for it to cause patients to mistakenly use this inhaler as a reliever rather than the recommended dose of one puff twice a day. As a result, AstraZeneca decided to change the color of the inhaler.
“The UKIG recommend that blue coloring on inhaler devices should be reserved for ‘reliever’ inhalers and should not be present on ‘preventer’ inhalers, in case this confuses patients who may mistakenly take extra doses during the day or night rather than using their ‘reliever’ inhaler,” UKIG wrote in a 2015 news release.
Fletcher applauded this change. “We are delighted with the proactive response from AstraZeneca to collective concerns about the importance of color coding inhaler devices and the potential for serious patient safety risks associated with the color of inhaler devices,” she said in a recent news release. “By changing the color of the Duaklir Genuair inhaler we believe that greater clarity and patient safety will result.”
Duaklir is a fixed-dose combination of Eklira (aclidinium bromide), a long-acting muscarinic-antagonist (LAMA), with the long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) formoterol. The twice-daily therapy is the only LAMA/LABA combination to show statistically significant improvements in breathlessness compared to individual therapies, and is administered by the Genuair dry powder inhaler device.
The therapy is approved in the European Union and in Canada as a maintenance bronchodilator treatment to relieve symptoms in adult patients with COPD.
This year’s Asthma & COPD Conference agenda will focus on the challenges experienced by pharmaceutical companies as they work to combat asthma and COPD. There will be a strong focus on development and updates on the innovative strategies currently being implemented to overcome long-established hurdles in asthma and COPD.
MHRA, GSK, Boehringer Ingelheim, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Janssen, Novartis, Teva, AstraZeneca, MedImmune, Mylan, Imperial College of London, Actavis and other companies will be presenting at the conference.
Cambridge Consultants and Janssen will host two certified pre-conference workshops on March 28: “The Future of Asthma & COPD Management; from Connected Inhalers to Therapy Management” and “Innovative Approaches to COPD – Proactive, Not Reactive Strategies” workshops.
More information about the conference can be found by visiting the website at www.asthma-copd.co.uk/biopharmadive.