HealthDay News — A combination of fluticasone furoate and vilanterol reduces the rate of moderate or severe exacerbations among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the annual European Respiratory Society International Congress in London.

Jørgen Vestbo, DMSc, from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomized 2,799 patients with COPD who had an exacerbation within 1 year before the trial to either a once-daily inhaled combination of fluticasone furoate and vilanterol or to usual care.

The researchers found that with fluticasone furoate/vilanterol therapy, the rate of moderate or severe exacerbations was 8.4% lower than with usual care (P=.02). No significant difference was seen between the groups in the annual rate of COPD-related contacts to primary or secondary care. The rates of first moderate or severe exacerbation and the first severe exacerbation did not differ between the groups in the time-to-event analyses. The fluticasone furoate/vilanterol group had no excess serious adverse events of pneumonia; similar numbers of other serious adverse events were seen in the 2 groups.

“In patients with COPD and a history of exacerbations, a once-daily treatment regimen of combined fluticasone furoate and vilanterol was associated with a lower rate of exacerbations than usual care, without a greater risk of serious adverse events,” the authors write.

The study was funded by GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures BREO ELLIPTA (fluticasone furoate and vilanterol).


  1.  Vestbo J, Leather D, Bakerly ND, et al. Effectiveness of fluticasone furoate: vilanterol for COPD in clinical practice. NEJM. 2016; doi:10.1056/nejmoa1608033.