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Addition Of Budesonide To Formoterol Reduces Risk Of Mortality

For severe COPD patients treated with budesonide added to either formoterol (Symbicort, AstraZeneca) and/or a short acting bronchodilator, there is a reduced risk of mortality// compared to patients treated with only formoterol and/or terbutaline

Important new data from the analysis of combined data from the two pivotal Symbicort(R) studies, announced today at the 5th International Multidisciplinary Conference on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD5), reveals that budesonide added to formoterol (Symbicort(R)) and/or terbutaline significantly reduces mortality in severe COPD over one year, compared to the bronchodilators formoterol and/or terbutaline alone.

Today's results show fewer deaths in the Symbicort / budesonide group compared with the bronchodilator group (p=0.036), with an associated hazard ratio of 0.564 (p=0.039). This represents a 44% reduction in all-cause mortality over one year for patients treated with Symbicort / budesonide(1).

"Previous findings have shown the beneficial effects of combination budesonide and formoterol, i.e. Symbicort, therapy in significantly reducing COPD exacerbations", explained Professor Peter Calverley, Aintree Chest Centre, University of Liverpool. "Today's presentation further demonstrates the link between COPD exacerbations and an increased risk of mortality, reinforcing the importance of reducing these events, as indicated by COPD guidelines".

The re-analysis comprised data from 1834 patients with severe COPD evenly distributed between the two treatment groups, i.e. budesonide added to bronchodilators compared to bronchodilators alone.

The survival benefits in this analysis also appear to corroborate the findings in the three year prospective TORCH (TOwards a Revolution in COPD health) study(2), presented at the American Thoracic Society Congress in 2006, which has reported a 17% reduction in mortality for fluticasone/salmeterol compared with place
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