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New drug combination approved in Wales for treating asthma

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The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group has given its backing to a new combination of a long-acting beta2-agonist and inhaled corticosteroid.

Fluticasone furoate/vilanterol (Relvar/Ellipta) has been approved as an option for use within NHS Wales for the regular treatment of asthma in adults and adolescents aged 12 years and older.

It may be used where use of a combination medicinal product is deemed appropriate and patients are not adequately controlled with inhaled corticosteroids and “as needed” inhaled short acting beta2-agonists.

Relvar Ellipta is available in two dose strengths in asthma: 92/22mcg and 184/22mcg.

The combination, which comes in a new inhaler device, contains two molecules − fluticasone furoate and vilanterol – which work to reduce airway inflammation and relax airway muscles.

It was licensed at the end of 2013 for both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The strategy group also backed the treatment for COPD in May this year.

Asthma deaths are more common in Wales than elsewhere in the UK, according to NHS statistics.

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