This 3-drug combo could lower death risk in people with COPD

Credit: ATS.

In a new study, researchers found that once-daily treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with an inhaler combining fluticasone furoate (FF), umeclidinium (UMEC) and vilanterol (VI) reduced all-cause mortality by 42%.

Fluticasone furoate is an inhaled corticosteroid, while umeclidinium is a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (a type of bronchodilator) and vilanterol is a long-acting ß2 agonist (another type of bronchodilator).

The research was conducted by a team at the University of Pennsylvania.

The team focused on patients with a history of exacerbations of their COPD.

In the study, more than 10,000 participants with COPD who were at risk for severe exacerbations (flare-ups) were in one of three groups: those receiving once-daily inhalations of FF/UMEC/VI, FF/VI or UMEC/VI combinations.

These participants were followed for one year.

The study showed that daily inhalation of FF/UMEC/VI led to more reductions in moderate/severe exacerbations and COPD hospitalizations, as well as improved lung function and health-related quality of life than the two dual combination therapies.

The study also showed patients on triple therapy had lower death rates than those on VI/UMEC.

The team say given the importance of this finding for patients and physicians they undertook a global collection of the missing data at week 52.

These new repeat analyses demonstrate the robustness of the original finding.

We have concluded that the three-drug combo can improve survival in symptomatic patients with COPD at risk of exacerbation.

No previous study has prospectively demonstrated that drug therapy can reduce all-cause mortality in people with COPD.

Major studies done prior to the study suggested mortality reductions but were not able to prove this with certainty.

The lead author of the study is David A. Lipson, MD.

The study is published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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