Sandoz, a Novartis company, today announces the launch of AirFluSal Forspiro, an innovative inhaler for patients with asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), in the United Kingdom.

AirFluSal, which was first approved in Denmark, has now been launched in 22 countries. It has been approved in more than 30 countries and the planned global roll-out continues apace on a market-by-market basis, in line with local regulatory requirements.

“The launch of AirFluSal Forspiro strengthens our respiratory portfolio and is our commitment to COPD patients in the UK,” said Stephen Eder, Sandoz Country Head UK and Ireland. “We believe AirFluSal Forspiro has the potential to have a positive impact not only for patients, but to generate savings for the NHS.”

COPD is the second most common cause of emergency admissions to hospital and one of the most costly inpatient conditions to be treated by the UK National Health Service (NHS). In 2010, there were 115,000 emergency COPD-related hospital admissions in England costing the NHS £287m (approx. EUR 335m). Many of these hospital admissions could be prevented by reducing the risk of exacerbations through improving treatment adherence to inhaler medicine.

AirFluSal offers the proven combination of salmeterol (a long-acting inhaled beta2-agonist) and fluticasone propionate (an inhaled corticosteroid) in an innovative new device. Safety, efficacy and equivalence have been proven in multiple clinical trials.

It was developed at Aeropharm GmbH in Rudolstadt, Germany, Sandoz’s global respiratory Center of Excellence. Sandoz collaborated with UK-based Vectura, a respiratory product development company, in the design and development. The innovative and intuitive-to-use design of the inhaler was awarded the Red Dot Product Design award in 2011, an internationally recognized quality seal awarded by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany.

In order to improve patient experience with inhalation devices, Sandoz collaborated closely with patients during the development process. The device includes multiple feedback mechanisms such as visual control features, which help reassure the patient about dosing and a simple lever arm to load the dose.