Free Program Helps COPD Patients Start New Inhaled Therapy

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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TLD therapy for COPD

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and Ashfield Healthcare have launched a new and free patient support program.

Called ‘STIOLTO Promise,’ the no-cost offer provides 30 days of medicine, resources, and at-home counseling via respiratory specialists for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are prescribed STIOLTO RESPIMAT.

STIOLTO RESPIMAT was approved in May 2015 for the long-term, once-daily maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with COPD, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema. RESPIMAT, the inhaler for Boehringer’s therapies, was designed to deliver medication as a slow-moving mist deep into lungs. This delivery system provides patients with enough time to breathe in the medication slowly without much inhalation effort.

Everyone who has been prescribed STIOLTO RESPIMAT for the first time can enroll in the ‘STIOLTO Promise’ initiative. The program operates in three parts:

• Part 1 will provide all participants a free 30-day supply of STIOLTO RESPIMAT, together with educational material, shipped straight to the patients’ homes.

• Part 2 of the program will include an elective visit from a respiratory therapist or nurse after seven to ten days from the office visit with the patients’ healthcare providers. The therapist will assist with medication/inhaler questions and provide breathing exercises adapted to the patients’ needs.

• Part 3 includes a visit by the respiratory therapists or nurses during which the patient will recieve an assessment of their progress, based on the second visit.

Depending on individual patient needs, participants can utilize all three parts of the program or just what is necessary. Only a healthcare provider can enroll participants into the ‘STIOLTO Promise’ program, so patients are urged to discuss the opportunity with their doctor.

To facilitate the program, Ashfield Healthcare will hire and train 38 respiratory therapists and nurses, and manage all at-home visits and post-visit assessments. The online-based Eagle Pharmacy will process the new STIOLTO RESPIMAT prescriptions and arrange free delivery of the 30-day supply.

Already, 1,000 participants are enrolled and many more are expected to sign up, according to Clare Burrows, Boehringer Ingelheim’s vice president of respiratory marketing, in a press release.

“For any treatment to be effective, it is important to start off on the right footing, and for COPD, we know this means understanding the disease, how to properly take their medicine, and initiating pulmonary exercises and other lifestyle behaviors that complement prescription medicine treatment. We designed the ‘STIOLTO Promise’ to support these goals,” Burrows said.