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FDA's New Safety Controls for LABA-Containing Drugs Will Impact Prescribing of Single-Agent ICS and LABA/ICS Combination Therapies for the Treatment of Asthma

Tue, 08/24/2010 - 9:33am
Bio-Medicine.Org

WALTHAM, Mass., Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that some surveyed physicians indicate that they will decrease their overall prescribing of long-acting beta2 agonists (LABA)/inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) combination therapies over the next 12 months for the treatment of asthma in response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's new safety controls for LABA-containing medications. Most notably, the FDA controls state that LABA/ICS combination medications should be reserved for patients who remain uncontrolled despite treatment with controller medications (e.g., single-agent ICS therapies).

According to the new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Asthma, more than 40 percent of surveyed physicians report that they will decrease their prescribing of LABA/ICS combinations prior to attempting treatment with a single-agent ICS drug over the next 12 months.

While surveyed physicians indicate that the FDA controls for LABA-containing drugs will affect their decision to prescribe a LABA/ICS combination therapy prior to attempting treatment with a single-agent ICS, surveyed physicians also report that first-line prescribing of LABA/ICS combinations remains common. In particular, surveyed physicians are most likely to prescribe a LABA/ICS combination, such as GlaxoSmithKline's Advair or AstraZeneca's Symbicort, as a first-line maintenance therapy for newly diagnosed adult patients with moderate or severe persistent asthma.

"Some surveyed physicians say they will decrease their use of LABA/ICS combination medications for the treatment of asthma, a trend that may have positive implications for the single-agent ICS class of therapies," said Decision Resources Analyst Martin Quinn. "As a result, marketers of LABA/ICS combination medications and single-agent ICS therapies must focus not only on competitive dyna

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