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Treatment of moderate to severe asthma: patient perspectives on combination inhaler therapy and implications for adherence

Authors Murphy K, Bendeer B

Published 30 July 2009 Volume 2009:2 Pages 63—72


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Kevin R Murphy,1 Bruce G Bender2

1Allergy, Asthma and Pulmonary Research, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska, USA; 2Division of Pediatric Behavioral Health, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado, USA

Abstract: Symptom control in patients with moderate to severe persistent asthma is essential to reduce the significant morbidity associated with the disease. Poor adherence to controller medications has been identified as a major contributing factor to the high level of uncontrolled asthma. This review examines patient perspectives on, and preferences for, controller medications (inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting β2-agonist combinations [ICS/LABA]), and how this may affect adherence to therapy. Fluticasone/salmeterol and budesonide/formoterol, the currently available ICS/LABA combination products, have similar efficacy and tolerability based on a recent meta-analysis of asthma trials. Adherence is higher with the combination ICS/LABAs than when the components are administered separately. Investigations into patient preferences for desirable attributes of asthma medications indicate that an effective reliever with a fast onset and long duration of action is preferred and may lead to improved adherence. This rapid onset of effect was perceived and highly valued in patient surveys, and was associated with greater patient satisfaction. Thus, future research should be directed at therapy that offers both anti-inflammatory activity and a rapid onset of bronchodilator effect. To further improve patient adherence and treatment outcome, the effect of these characteristics as well as other factors on adherence should also be investigated.

Keywords: budesonide/formoterol, fluticasone/salmeterol, adherence, onset of effect, patient satisfaction

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