Can medicines development improve outcomes in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease management by driving effectiveness?
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Despite the availability of treatment guidelines and inhaled medications for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), much remains to be done to lessen the burden of these respiratory diseases for patients. The challenge of selecting effective and efficacious drugs for patients is a key focus area for healthcare professionals. Here we discuss the concept of "drivers of effectiveness"- features of a medicine which may increase or decrease its effectiveness in the presence of real-world factors - and highlight the importance of considering these drivers in the early stages of drug development, and exploring their impact in carefully designed pragmatic trials. Using the Salford Lung Studies (SLS) in asthma and COPD as an illustrative example, we discuss various features of the inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting β2-agonist combination, fluticasone furoate/vilanterol (FF/VI), as potential drivers of effectiveness that may have contributed to the improved patient outcomes observed with initiation of FF/VI versus continuation of usual care in the UK primary care setting.
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