The utilization and safety of umeclidinium and umeclidinium/vilanterol in UK primary care: A retrospective cohort study

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Background: Umeclidinium bromide (UMEC) and umeclidinium/vilanterol (UMEC/VI) received European approval for maintenance treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in 2014. This study examined prescribing patterns, possible offlabel prescribing, potential safety-related outcomes and adherence of these medications in routine clinical practice post-approval. Methods: This retrospective, multi-database, longitudinal observational study of new users of UMEC, UMEC/VI, or other long-acting bronchodilators (LABD) analyzed data from UK electronic health record databases (primary care cohort), linked to hospital data (linked cohort). Off-label prescribing, safety outcomes (cardiovascular, respiratory, and mortality), treatment patterns, and medication adherence were assessed. Results: In the primary care cohort (new users of UMEC n=3875; UMEC/VI n=2224; other LABD n=32,809), two-thirds of UMEC users were prescribed concomitant inhaled corticosteroids/long-acting β2-agonists. Possible off-label prescribing, defined as use in patients without COPD, was similar for UMEC (7.0%) and UMEC/VI (8.8%), but higher for new users of other LABD (18.0%). There were 547 UMEC users and 512 UMEC/VI users in the linked cohort. In both cohorts, incidence rates (IRs) of cardiovascular outcomes were similar for UMEC and UMEC/VI users (myocardial infarction IR per 1000 person-years [95% CIs]: UMEC 6.9 [4.4, 10.2]; UMEC/VI 6.8 [3.5, 11.9]). IRs of pneumonia and acute COPD exacerbations (AECOPD) were slightly higher among UMEC users compared with UMEC/VI users (AECOPD IR per 1000 person-years [95% CIs]: UMEC 979 [931, 1030]; UMEC/VI 746 [687, 811]). Adherence (medication possession ratio ≥80%) was 64% for UMEC and UMEC/VI. Conclusion: Most new users of UMEC were receiving multiple-inhaler triple therapy. Offlabel prescribing was uncommon for new users of UMEC and UMEC/VI. Incidence of cardiovascular and respiratory outcomes was as expected for these drug classes. This study provides evidence that UMEC and UMEC/VI are being prescribed appropriately and their safety profile remains unchanged.




Requena, G., Dedman, D., Quint, J. K., Ghosh, R. E., Williams, R., & Pimenta, J. M. (2021). The utilization and safety of umeclidinium and umeclidinium/vilanterol in UK primary care: A retrospective cohort study. International Journal of COPD, 16, 629–642.

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