All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) has recommended British drug-maker GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Relvar Ellipta to treat patients with asthma within NHS Wales, following the receipt of ministerial ratification.
Relvar Ellipta was granted a license in 2013 to treat both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), while in May, AWMSG issued positive guidance for COPD.
GSK UK medical director Dr Stephen McDonough said: "Asthma represents a significant health burden in Wales so we are delighted by this positive recommendation from the AWMSG as a significant step forward in achieving access for all appropriate patients.
"This will provide clinicians with what we believe is an important option that will enable them to tailor treatment for individual patient needs."
With the new recommendation, health boards across Wales can advice corticosteroid and long-acting beta agonist (ICS/LABA) combination for appropriate patients with either asthma or COPD.
In the guidance statement, AWMSG said that fluticasone furoate / vilanterol (Relvar Ellipta) is recommended as an option for use within NHS Wales for the regular treatment of asthma in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and older.
It also stated that it can serve as an option where use of a combination medicinal product (long-acting beta2-agonist and inhaled corticosteroid) is appropriate and patients not adequately controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and ‘as needed’ inhaled short acting beta2-agonists.
This treatment was launched in the UK in January and marketing authorisation was issued by the European Commission in November 2013.
Image: Obstruction of the lumen of the bronchiole by mucoid exudate, goblet cell metaplasia and severe inflammation of bronchiole. Photo: courtesy of Yale Rosen.