Physicians Roundtable

CHEST, Sunovion Announce Strategic Initiative

Agreement is focused on the importance of drug delivery in the management of COPD.

Last month, CHEST and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced through a joint press release a strategic initiative focused on increasing recognition that the way a medicine is delivered should be an important consideration in evaluating a patient's COPD therapy.

As a part of this collaboration, the organizations launched the "Delivery Makes a Difference" initiative, which seeks to understand patient and healthcare provider practices and to provide tools for matching patients with appropriate medications and delivery devices.

Beginning in August 2016, the initiative assembled a steering committee of nationally recognized COPD thought leaders, who collaborated to create a landmark survey of 1,000 patients and healthcare providers to assess drug and device prescription habits and perception disparities between patients and providers.

"When first-line treatments fail to achieve their desired effect, healthcare providers often prescribe additional medications, failing to consider that the way the medicine has been delivered may be a significant issue," said Nicola Hanania, MBBS, chair of the Delivery Makes a Difference steering committee, associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine. "The Delivery Makes a Difference initiative hopes to provide important data to support the crucial step of choosing appropriate delivery devices for individual patients."

SEE ALSO: Inhalers to the Rescue

Speaking to ADVANCE, Hanania added that he looks forward to future planned presentations - as more data is released - at gatherings similar to CHEST 2016, where an overview of the program was presented in October. "It was not altogether surprising that many physicians were not educating their patients on all the steps in involved in inhaler use, but the hope is that through studies like this one, educational materials will be developed in the future," he said.

Antony Loebel, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Sunovion, echoed this sentiment, saying, "We look forward to sharing the data from this survey with healthcare providers and to providing meaningful educational programs for patients."

"The American College of Chest Physicians believes that a comprehensive approach to the patient's needs is essential to optimal treatment of COPD," added John Alexander, MD, MBA, FCCP, president of CHEST Enterprises. "Great patient care extends beyond the molecule, considering patient ability, delivery systems and ongoing doctor/patient communication."

The anticipation is that through the development of a more individualized patient care and drug delivery process will yield improved patient outcomes and better success in the management and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Hanania suggested that the survey itself is something to watch as more data is analyzed and processes are implemented from it - and he foresees the possibility of future studies, similar to it, going forward.

"The need for better COPD care is not going away - and as this study shows, improvements in drug delivery are another step toward meeting those needs."

Tamer Abouras is on staff at ADVANCE. Contact: tabouras@advanceweb.com.

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