No Benefits from Umeclidinium for COPD Patients

There is no proof of the added benefit of using umeclidinium bromide for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) symptom relief in patients.

There is no proof of the added benefit of using umeclidinium bromide for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) symptom relief in patients, according to a paper produced by the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Umeclidinium has been approved since 2014 for use as a bronchodilator treatment in adult COPD patients in combination with vilanterol, but as a single agent since 2016. However, IQWiG researchers decided to investigate whether this treatment added benefit to patients when compared to the appropriate comparator therapy.

The comparator therapy depends on the severity of COPD, the authors noted: patients with a moderate severity grade received long-acting beta 2 sympathomimetic and/or a long-acting anticholinergic as comparator therapy, and patients with more severe COPD were administered an additional inhaled corticosteroid, the researchers explained.

The researchers determined that when patients were given no long term treatment with inhaled corticosteroids, there was no significant difference between the study arms. That included outcomes for all cause mortality, COPD symptoms or COPD side effects, the researchers said.

There was no available data for patients with high severity COPD — those patients which had smaller lung capacity and at least two exacerbations in a 12 month period, IQWiG reported. Therefore, the researchers were unable to conclude an added benefit of umeclidinium for patients in relation to the comparator therapy.

Once these findings are published, IQWiG concluded, the research is submitted to the Federal Joint Committee. Then, the committee opens up a commenting procedure before making a final decision on the extent of the added benefit of umeclidinium for COPD patients.