Inhaled Salmeterol/Fluticasone Propionate Combination: A Pharmacoeconomic Review of its Use in the Management of Asthma
Katherine A. Lyseng-Williamson
Greg L. Plosker
Asthma guidelines recommend an inhaled corticosteroid plus a long-acting inhaled beta2-agonist (beta2-adrenoceptor agonist) as the preferred maintenance therapy for moderate and severe persistent asthma. Advair(R)/Seretide(R) Diskus(R), also registered as Accuhaler(R), is fixed-dose salmeterol (a long-acting inhaled beta2-agonist) and fluticasone propionate (a corticosteroid) administered via a single powder inhalation device. The clinical effectiveness of salmeterol/fluticasone propionate in patients with persistent asthma symptoms has been established in comparative clinical trials. Pharmacoeconomic analyses, based on data from these clinical trials, have been conducted from a healthcare payer perspective in various countries. In patients with asthma not controlled with inhaled corticosteroids, salmeterol/fluticasone propionate was associated with more favourable (lower) cost-effectiveness ratios than fluticasone propionate monotherapy, oral montelukast plus inhaled fluticasone propionate, inhaled budesonide, and inhaled formoterol plus budesonide. As the initial maintenance therapy in patients with persistent asthma symptoms while receiving short-acting beta2-agonists alone, salmeterol/fluticasone propionate was cost effective relative to montelukast monotherapy. Although the total cost of asthma management tended to be slightly higher with salmeterol/fluticasone propionate than with fluticasone propionate or montelukast monotherapy, salmeterol/fluticasone propionate consistently had a more favourable cost-effectiveness ratio in terms of per successfully treated week or symptom-free day and/or was associated with small incremental costs to achieve significant additional clinical benefits. In clinical practice, salmeterol plus fluticasone propionate was associated with lower asthma-related costs than treatment with other maintenance therapies. In patients with asthma symptoms despite treatment with inhaled corticosteroids, salmeterol/fluticasone propionate produced clinically meaningful improvements in overall Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) scores relative to salmeterol or placebo monotherapy, in emotional function domain scores relative to fluticasone propionate or budesonide, and in asthma symptoms domain scores relative to budesonide. In patients with persistent asthma symptoms while receiving short-acting beta2-agonists alone, salmeterol/fluticasone propionate produced clinically meaningful improvements in overall AQLQ scores compared with fluticasone propionate or montelukast. Conclusions: Pharmacoeconomic analyses indicate that salmeterol/fluticasone propionate administered via a single inhaler represents a cost-effective treatment option (relative to fluticasone propionate at the same nominal dosage, budesonide, formoterol plus budesonide and montelukast plus fluticasone propionate) in patients with asthma not controlled with inhaled corticosteroid therapy. In patients with asthma not controlled with short-acting beta2-agonists alone, salmeterol/fluticasone propionate is a cost effective treatment relative to monotherapy with montelukast. Importantly, salmeterol/fluticasone propionate is also associated with improvements in health-related quality of life.
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