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COPD Drug Symbicort (Budesonide/ Formoterol) More Effective Than Advair (Fluticasone/Salmeterol) in ‘Real World’ Study

Disease flares and hospitalizations reduced (Mar. 19)

An analysis of data from the “real world” PATHOS trial, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, has shown that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treated with Symbicort Turbuhaler (budesonide/formoterol, AstraZeneca) are significantly less likely to experience COPD-related flares and are significantly less likely to be hospitalized for COPD compared with patients treated with Advair (fluticasone/salmeterol, GlaxoSmithKline).

Overall, budesonide/formoterol reduced the annual rate of moderate-to-severe exacerbations by 26% compared with fluticasone/salmeterol (0.80 vs. 1.09 patient-years, respectively; P <0.0001). The reduction in favor of budesonide/formoterol was apparent for all types of exacerbation events (e.g., antibiotic use, oral steroid use, or hospital admission). Treatment with budesonide/formoterol reduced the rates of COPD-related hospitalization by 29% (0.15 vs. 0.21 patient-years, respectively; P < 0.0001), and hospital days due to COPD exacerbation were 34% fewer (0.63 vs. 0.95 patient-years, respectively; P < 0.0001) compared with fluticasone/salmeterol.

The 11-year PATHOS study, conducted in Sweden, retrospectively examined the medical records of 5,468 patients treated with inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta agonist (ICS/LABA) combination therapy from 1999 to 2009, for a total of 19,000 patient-years. A cohort of patients treated with budesonide/formoterol were individually matched with an equal number of patients treated with another ICS/LABA regimen, fluticasone/salmeterol. Exacerbations were defined as medical interventions, such as hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and prescriptions of oral steroids or antibiotics due to COPD deterioration.

Source: AstraZeneca; March 19, 2013.

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