MTRAC issued an additional Commissioning Support review in March 2014. This review covers fluticasoe/vilanterol dry powder inhaler.
The fluticasoe/vilanterol (Relvar®) summary advises that this inhaler cannot be recommended for prescribing for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is noted that the evidence for efficacy was considered relatively weak although strong enough to gain regulatory approval. The main reason for this recommendation is a potential safety concern regarding the similarity of this inhaler to reliever inhalers in terms of colour that could result in accidental overuse of the inhaled steroid. The SPC describes the inhaler as having a "light grey body, a pale blue mouthpiece cover and a dose counter". Until now, blue coloured inhalers have generally contained short-acting beta-adrenoceptor agonists (SABA), not inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta-adrenoceptor agonists.
Action: Clinicians should be aware of these reviews and use the recommendations to guide appropriate use of these medicines in current practice.