New COPD drug to marketThe European Commission has approved the use of Anoro (umeclidinium/vilanterol) for use in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) in the UK.

Anoro is a bronchodilator treatment which relieves the symptoms in adult patients suffering with COPD. It is a combination of two bronchodilators used in a single dry powder inhaler, the Ellipta. It contains umeclidinium (UMEC), a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) and vilanterol (VI), a long-acting beta agonist (LABA). LAMAs and LABAs relax the airwaves to improve airflow into and out of the lungs.

The approval follows a phase III trial programme that included 7 clinical studies and more than 6,000 patients suffering with COPD.

UMEC/VI has had a phased introduction into the healthcare system to allow specialists and local formularies to access the new treatment. Widespread availability throughout primary care is expected from this month (September).

Thirty doses cost £32.50. For more information visit hcp.gsk.co.uk. For the EU Summary of Product Characteristics for Anoro, please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/health/documents/community-register/index_en.htm