Sandoz Generic Shows Superiority to Branded Product

Patient persistence with AirFluSal Forspiro was twice the rate of Seretide Diskus.

Results from a recent study found that Sandoz’s generic AirFluSal Forspiro respiratory inhaler doubled the rate of treatment persistence for patients compared with the reference product, Glaxo Group’s Seretide Diskus.

AirFluSal Forspiro delivers a combined dose of salmeterol and fluticasone propionate through a novel device. Persistence to treatment is the duration of time from initiation to discontinuation of the drug.

Poor persistence to treatment rates can result in disease exacerbations, decreased quality of life, hospitalization, mortality, burden on the healthcare system, and high costs, according to a study published by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

“COPD and asthma are long term diseases requiring long-term, persistent adherence to therapy,” said lead author of the study Dr Bruce Bende. “While adherence has been widely studied to date, a growing awareness of the large number of patients who abandon their asthma treatment suggests that persistence to treatment may be more relevant for longer-term outcomes.”

Few studies have explored persistence in patients receiving inhaled treatments, but sub-optimal rates have been reported by studies that have. In the current study, scientists compared the persistence rates of AirFluSal Forspiro versus Seretide Diskus in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Dispending data was collected from a pharmacy database, and included 11,744 patients in a matched pair analysis. Scientists controlled for gender, age, and month of treatment initiation, according to the study.

All patients included were treatment naïve to salmeterol/fluticasone propionate. Scientists found that the persistence rate of AirFluSal Forspiro was 22.9%, compared with 10.5% for the reference product device.

AirFluSal Forspiro has been launched in approximately 30 countries, according to a press release from Novartis, Sandoz’s parent company. Patient feedback was included during the development process, which may be why treatment persisted at more than twice the rate of the reference product.

“These results fully validate our decision at Sandoz to develop our inhaler device in close collaboration with patients, incorporating their feedback,” said Spencer Jones, PhD, Sandoz head of Global Medical Affairs, Respiratory. “This approach, which results in the device being effectively designed to give direct feedback to users, is the key to success in treating chronic conditions. What the data also highlight is the need for even more research to better understand patient persistence behaviors and to develop strategies to address what are still unacceptably low overall levels."