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New COPD combination treatment gets go-ahead for use by Welsh NHS

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The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group has recommended a new once-daily dual bronchodilator treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

In latest guidance, the advisory group has backed umeclidinium/vilanterol (Anoro Ellipta) 52/22mcg as an option for use as a maintenance bronchodilator treatment to relieve symptoms in adult COPD patients.

As a result, health boards across Wales are now able to give appropriate patients with COPD access to a combination of two bronchodilators in a single dry powder inhaler.

The treatment combines umeclidinium, a long-acting muscarinic antagonist and vilanterol, a long-acting beta2-agonist. Both can relax airway muscles and improve airflow in and out of the lungs.

The decision follows the UK launch of the treatment in September 2014 by GlaxoSmithKline and marketing authorisation approval by the European Commission in May 2014.

Optimising care in respiratory disease is a key priority in Wales, with the Welsh Government recently announcing a new three-year respiratory health delivery plan.

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