Tag Archives: COPD

Making Medicine Personal in Respiratory Health

Previously, we shared how we’re Making Medicine Personal for patients. We’re continuing the conversation by focusing on how we’re treating respiratory diseases.

Your health and that of your loved ones is one of the most important aspects of life. It’s also the most important aspect of our work. For more than 40 years, we’ve addressed respiratory challenges to improve millions of lives – and we’re not slowing down. We’re constantly developing new methods to advance quality of life while avoiding unnecessary costs and adding value to the overall healthcare system.

We understand that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in healthcare. Your cellular and molecular makeup is unique to you and you only. That’s why we’re focusing on tailored, individualized treatments to ensure that the right treatment is being delivered to the right patient.

Here’s how we’re doing this through innovation, patient assistance, and collaboration:


One of the main challenges of respiratory health is identifying the right dosage and treatment for each patient. With this in mind, we’re using new technologies, such as co-suspension technology, to enable consistent delivery of one or more different medicines in a single device, and we’re investigating biologics that have the potential to deliver uniquely targeted treatment for patients.

And that’s just the beginning. Access to proper treatment is the first step, but ensuring that patients maintain their treatments and adhere to doctor recommendations is equally important. Programs like Stay Connected Medication Adherence, AZCaRes™, and Health Journey Support allow us to be the patient’s coach and cheerleader.

“I’m so grateful for AstraZeneca’s savings cards. Your medicine has improved my asthma as the doctor believed it would.”

– AstraZeneca patient 

Hearing patients like the one above talk about how our programs have helped them brings meaning to our work. And that’s why we will never stop looking for ways to support and advocate for patients.

But we’re not in this alone. At AstraZeneca, we believe there is strength in numbers. Collaborative partnerships around the world enable us to pioneer research, technology, and awareness to improve patient outcomes. From working with the COPD Foundation to create one of the largest patient networks in existence, to collaborating with Adherium to explore the impact of technology on adherence, to annually partnering with the CHEST Foundation during World COPD Day and National COPD Awareness Month, our partnerships are key to our efforts.

At the end of the day, it’s our job to make sure our medicines bring value to you and the entire healthcare system. In future blog posts, we’ll share how we’re making medicine personal for patients living with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases as well as patients receiving cancer treatment. Stay tuned.

Science of Novel Drug Delivery in Respiratory Medicine

AstraZeneca’s latest approval BEVESPI AEROSPHERE™ (glycopyrrolate and formoterol fumarate) inhalation aerosol, is the first long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA), and formoterol fumarate, a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA) delivered in a pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI). It is the first approved product to use the novel Co-Suspension™ Technology. BEVESPI AEROSPHERE was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for long-term maintenance treatment of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). BEVESPI AEROSPHERE is not for the relief of acute symptoms of COPD or for the treatment of asthma. More information about the approval can be found in our press release.

3226104-NONBRANDED PDUFA Infographics-CC-The Latest Science of Novel Drug Delivery in Resp Medicine Infographic

This progress demonstrates AstraZeneca’s continued commitment to deliver new treatment options for the millions of people affected by chronic respiratory conditions. But, what exactly is Co-Suspension Technology? Below are facts about Co-Suspension Technology to answer this question.

  1. Utilizes a specially formulated phospholipid particle designed for distribution throughout the lungs: Co-Suspension Technology uses a novel, specially engineered particle to assist with drug crystal delivery. The particles are designed to release drug crystals at their site of deposition, and dissolve in the lung fluid
  1. Designed to prevent separation and sedimentation of drug crystals over time: Co-Suspension Technology uses low-density particles that are intended to prevent settling (sedimentation) and remain in a stable homogeneous suspension 
  1. Designed for dose consistency: AstraZeneca’s Co-Suspension Technology allows for consistent dosing of one or more different drugs from a single pMDI, the most commonly used inhaler in the US.

We remain focused on developing innovative technology for respiratory patients, and look forward to Co-Suspension Technology as the platform for future combination products within AstraZeneca’s robust respiratory pipeline. Click here for more information about Co-Suspension Technology.


BEVESPI AEROSPHERE is a combination of glycopyrrolate, an anticholinergic, and formoterol fumarate, a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA), indicated for the long-term, maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema. BEVESPI AEROSPHERE is not indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm or for the treatment of asthma.

Important Safety Information about BEVESPI AEROSPHERE, including Boxed WARNING

WARNING: Long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonists (LABAs), such as formoterol fumarate, one of the active ingredients in BEVESPI AEROSPHERE, increase the risk of asthma-related death. A placebo-controlled trial with another LABA (salmeterol) showed an increase in asthma-related deaths in subjects receiving salmeterol. This finding with salmeterol is considered a class effect of all LABAs, including formoterol fumarate. The safety and efficacy of BEVESPI AEROSPHERE in patients with asthma have not been established. BEVESPI AEROSPHERE is not indicated for the treatment of asthma.

All LABAs are contraindicated in patients with asthma without use of a long-term asthma control medication. BEVESPI is contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to glycopyrrolate, formoterol fumarate, or to any component of the product.

BEVESPI should not be initiated in patients with acutely deteriorating COPD, which may be a life-threatening condition.

BEVESPI should not be used for the relief of acute symptoms, i.e., as rescue therapy for acute episodes of bronchospasm. Acute symptoms should be treated with an inhaled short-acting beta2-agonist.

BEVESPI should not be used more often or at higher doses than recommended, or with other LABAs, as an overdose may result.

If paradoxical bronchospasm occurs, discontinue BEVESPI immediately and institute alternative therapy.

If immediate hypersensitivity reactions, including angioedema, urticaria, or skin rash, occur, discontinue BEVESPI at once and consider alternative treatment.

BEVESPI can produce a clinically significant cardiovascular effect in some patients, as measured by increases in pulse rate, blood pressure, or symptoms. If such effects occur, BEVESPI may need to be discontinued.

Use with caution in patients with convulsive disorders, thyrotoxicosis, diabetes mellitus, ketoacidosis, and in patients who are unusually responsive to sympathomimetic amines.

Be alert to hypokalemia and hyperglycemia.

Worsening of narrow-angle glaucoma or urinary retention may occur. Use with caution in patients with narrow-angle glaucoma, prostatic hyperplasia, or bladder-neck obstruction and instruct patients to contact a physician immediately if symptoms occur.

The most common adverse reactions with BEVESPI (≥2% and more common than placebo) were: cough, 4.0% (2.7%), and urinary tract infection, 2.6% (2.3%).

Use caution if administering adrenergic drugs because the sympathetic effects of formoterol may be potentiated.

Concomitant treatment with xanthine derivatives, steroids, or diuretics may potentiate any hypokalemic effect of formoterol.

Use with caution in patients taking non–potassium-sparing diuretics, as the ECG changes and/or hypokalemia may worsen with concomitant beta2-agonists.

The action of adrenergic agonists on the cardiovascular system may be potentiated by monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, or drugs known to prolong the QTc interval.  Therefore BEVESPI should be used with extreme caution in patients being treated with these agents.

Use beta-blockers with caution as they not only block the therapeutic effects of beta-agonists, but may produce severe bronchospasm in patients with COPD.

Avoid co-administration of BEVESPI with other anticholinergic-containing drugs as this may lead to an increase in anticholinergic adverse effects.

Please see full Prescribing Information including Boxed WARNING, and Medication Guide.

“Faces of COPD Mosaic” Encourages Dialogue on World COPD Day

AboutCOPD_3b_16x9-11.4Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month takes place every November and marks an important time for the COPD community to come together and spark conversations about this debilitating disease that affects approximately 300 million people globally.

In recognition of this important observance, AstraZeneca has collaborated with the COPD Foundation to unveil the Faces of COPD Mosaic, a nationwide photo initiative to raise awareness of COPD and those living with the disease through the collection of individual photos.

Throughout November, the COPD Foundation and AstraZeneca engaged with the COPD patient community to develop the photo mosaic, comprised of individual photos of patients living with this disease, representing the more than 14 million American adults identified as having COPD in 2010. Another estimated 12 million people in the U.S. undiagnosed Final Mosaic Image_JPG 852_COPDFdue to a variety of reasons that could include not understanding or recognizing their COPD symptoms, or not discussing these symptoms with their doctor.
Many are unaware that COPD is an umbrella term used to describe chronic lung diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis, two serious conditions that should not be overlooked.

The completed mosaic is now live on the Foundation’s website and on display in physician offices throughout the country, commemorating today as World COPD Day and encouraging patients with COPD to take proactive steps in talking with their doctor on how to manage their symptoms.

“The COPD Foundation remains committed to improving the quality of life of those impacted by COPD, through research and disease education,” said John Walsh, President and Co-founder of the COPD Foundation. “We are thrilled to share the results of our collaboration with AstraZeneca around this patient centric initiative. Together, we hope to inspire people living with COPD to take action to improve their respiratory health.”

Take a moment to watch this testimonial video of COPD patient Sandi, one of the many faces of COPD.

AstraZeneca has a longstanding commitment to respiratory patients and we appreciate the opportunity to bring a face to the patients living with this disease through the launch of the Faces of COPD Mosaic. To continue the conversation around COPD, connect with those affected by the disease and access resources and disease education material, please visit the COPD Foundation’s online community: COPD360social.org.

COPD Foundation Launches New Program to Spur Research

The COPD Foundation has announced the launch of COPD360, an exciting new initiative to help patients. COPD360 is an innovative approach to accelerating research and developing new treatment options for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).copd foundation

“AstraZeneca is proud to be a founding sponsor of this pioneering effort,” said Greg Keenan, Vice President, Medical Affairs and U.S. Chief Medical Officer, AstraZeneca. “This is an innovative undertaking that we truly believe will enable faster recruitment for clinical trials and spur COPD research at an unprecedented level.”

COPD360 will enroll 125,000 patients, who have agreed to share their health data, in the integrated database, giving researchers a chance to explore patient-reported outcomes and new observational data. By having access to this information, researchers will be able to explore new areas of study and—hopefully—identify a cure for COPD.

“I would like to thank AstraZeneca for becoming a founding corporate sponsor of COPD360. This substantial commitment will make an immediate impact on our ability to enroll patients and to build a community of active research participants,” said John W. Walsh, COPD Foundation President and Co-Founder.

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and affects more than 30 million Americans. Knowledge of this disease has expanded more recently and it is considered a complex disease with multiple comorbidities that can lead to frequent infections, hospital admissions and mortality. It is unknown why many individuals who are exposed to known risk factors, such as smoking, do not develop COPD. With a rising economic burden estimated at approximately $50 billion annually, there is a disproportionately low level of research funding allocated to this preventable progressive disease.

As the founding sponsor of COPD360, AstraZeneca provided $2.5 million to the COPD Foundation. We are the first company to provide large-scale funding for this type of national COPD database and are eager to see the impact it may have for patients with COPD over the next several years.

As respiratory leaders, this program aligns with AstraZeneca’s commitment to patients and finding novel approaches to improving care for individuals living with COPD.

For more information about COPD360 or to enroll in the program, please contact the COPD Foundation at 1-866-316-COPD (2673)

Resources Available for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients

By Frank Trudo, MD, Medical Director

Breathing is a critical function.  But for millions of Americans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the ability to breathe can be a struggle.

The third-leading cause of death in the US and a major cause of disability, COPD is one of the most prevalent respiratory diseases in the country. While 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with the disease, it’s estimated that another 12 million remain undiagnosed.

A progressive condition that usually starts in patients over the age of 40, COPD requires long-term treatment and care. In observance of COPD Awareness Month this November, AstraZeneca is demonstrating its commitment to ongoing COPD disease education, by making online resources, including information about the disease and treatment options, available for patients and health care providers.  Additional resources, including information on risk factors and tips to help manage COPD, can be found here.

Disease education is an important component of overall patient care. As a leader in respiratory disease research and treatments, AstraZeneca remains committed to supporting efforts to help the millions of Americans who are living with COPD.

You can learn more about AstraZeneca’s focus on respiratory and other key areas here.