Tiotropium Reduces Exacerbations and Associated Health Resource Use in Patients with COPD

PARIS — New data from a large one-year study published in the March issue of the European Respiratory Journal show that tiotropium significantly reduces exacerbations and associated health resource use in patients with COPD compared with placebo. Tiotropium is an anticholinergic medication recommended for maintenance treatment of patients with COPD.

COPD, a progressive respiratory illness that causes significant deterioration of lung function and chronic breathlessness, affects 600 million people worldwide, but its prevalence is predicted to rise to become the world's third leading cause of death by 2020.

"These study results are very good news for both patients and their health care providers," said Professor Dusser, head of Pneumology, Hopital Cochin, and principal study investigator. "Treatments for COPD that can reduce the frequency or severity of exacerbations and associated health resource use can have a significant impact on both patients' quality of life and the cost of treatment. This study has shown that, with tiotropium, we have an effective treatment option to achieve this."

The study was a one-year randomized, double-blind, parallel group study involving 1,010 patients from 177 centers in France. Compared with placebo, treatment with tiotropium:

  • significantly delayed the time to first exacerbation by approximately 100 days
  • reduced the proportion of patients experiencing more that one exacerbation by 17 percent
  • decreased the number of exacerbations by 35 percent and exacerbation days by 37 percent
  • decreased health resource use, including a reduction in the number of unscheduled physician visits by 41 percent and phone calls to a physician by 53 percent and also a reduction in concomitant respiratory medications, antibiotics and oral steroids.

Treatment also significantly improved airflow in patients over one year compared with placebo, as measured by a significant improvement in (trough) pre-dose FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in one second).

Source: Hospital Cochin

This article originally appeared in the March 2006 issue of HME Business.

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