Novartis’s Ultibro Breezhaler, a dual bronchodilator intended for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been launched in the UK by Pfizer.
The launch coincides with the winter meeting of the British Thoracic Society (BTS).
COPD, considered to be the fifth leading cause of death in the UK, claims more lives than breast, bowel or prostate cancer. Approximately 3.7 million people suffer from COPD in the UK.
A promotional agreement was signed between Pfizer and Novartis in September 2014 to make the once-daily Ultibro Breezhaler available for use by healthcare professionals across the UK.
Data indicated that the dual bronchodilator significantly improved lung function, against standard treatments.
Patients receiving Ultibro Breezhaler also found major improvements in outcomes for aspects such as breathlessness and use of rescue medication, against open-label tiotropium 18 mcg and salmeterol / fluticasone.
Expert in COPD research and professor in Respiratory Medicine Wisia Wedzicha said: "The impact of exacerbations on patients, particularly during the cold winter months, is profound and has a real impact on their quality of life.
"COPD already places a considerable burden on the National Health Service and admission rates are on the rise, so the availability of an additional treatment that improves outcomes for patients can make a very positive difference in our efforts to manage the condition."
The direct cost of providing care in the NHS for people suffering from COPD is estimated at £500m a year, of which more than 50% is due to hospital care.
Ultibro Breezhaler received approval in the EU as a maintenance bronchodilator treatment to relieve symptoms in adult patients suffering with COPD.
It is a fixed-dose combination of two bronchodilators; indacaterol, a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA) and glycopyrronium, a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA).
Ultibro Breezhaler secured approval for use in more than 50 countries, including the EU and Latin America, in addition to Japan, Canada, Switzerland and Australia.