COPD Patients Should Have Better, More Routine Assessments of Inhalers, Sunovion Study Reports

Margarida Azevedo, MSc avatar

by Margarida Azevedo, MSc |

Share this article:

Share article via email
inhaler device

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, a biopharma focused on the development of medical solutions for psychiatric, neurological, and respiratory conditions, recently presented the results of two clinical outcome research studies that investigated the treatment adequacy and inhaler use in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. The poster presentation sessions reporting data from both studies took place this week at the 2016 Society of Hospital Medicine’s (SHM) conference in San Diego, California.

According to a news release from Marlborough, Massachusetts-based Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, the findings obtained from both studies involved real-life assessment of patient care and COPD medical devices, emphasizing the need for the routine evaluation of each patient’s ability to use their inhalation devices before treatment selection in the hospital and in the community, and before patients are discharged from the hospital after they are treated for a COPD exacerbation.

The first study, with a poster titled “Confidence in correct inhaler device technique and its association with health status and patient satisfaction: an analysis of real-world U.S. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients,” evaluated COPD practice patterns, patient preferences, and outcomes. The data, collected at a national level, was generated through surveys of U.S. physicians involved in COPD treatments, assessing the level of patient confidence with using the correct inhaler technique.

The results showed that at least one in three COPD patients had a low level of confidence regarding the correct use of inhalers, regardless of the type of device. Such patients had significantly poorer COPD clinical outcomes and lower levels of treatment satisfaction compared to patients who felt confident in their use of inhaler devices.

The second study, with a poster titled “Analysis of real-world treatment patterns among hospitalized chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients with low peak inspiratory flow: interim findings from a prospective observational study,” analyzed peak inspiratory flow rate (PIFR) and treatment patterns at seven U.S. clinical sites, with data from 100 patients discharged after treatment from COPD exacerbation. PIFR measures the patient’s inspiratory effort to deliver medication from a dry powder inhaler (DPI). A PIFR greater or equal to 60L/min is considered optimal for achievement of bronchodilation.

The results indicated that one in four COPD patients achieved PIFR of less than 60L/min using the Diskus DPI device and, despite these observations, 70 percent of the patients with PIFR of less than 60L/min in the study were receiving treatment with this same device, indicating that COPD patients may experience difficulties in achieving optimal bronchodilation using commonly used devices.

Based on both studies, researchers stressed that alternative delivery devices, such as nebulizers, should be considered in order to achieve optimal health outcomes and patient satisfaction. Researchers also recommend routine PIFR assessment in COPD patients before they are discharged from the hospital in order to better assess their treatment options.