Background: In patients receiving inhaled medication, dissatisfaction with and difficulty in using the inhaler can affect treatment adherence. The incidence of handling errors is typically higher in the elderly than in younger people. The aim of the study was to assess inhaler preference for and handling errors with the ELLIPTA® dry powder inhaler (DPI), (GSK), compared with the established BREEZHALER™, a single-dose capsule DPI (Novartis), in inhalation device-naïve Japanese volunteers aged ≥40 years.
Methods: In this open-label, nondrug interventional, crossover DPI preference study comparing the ELLIPTA DPI and BREEZHALER, 150 subjects were randomized to handle the ELLIPTA or BREEZHALER DPIs until the point of inhalation, without receiving verbal or demonstrative instruction (first attempt). Subjects then crossed over to the other inhaler. Preference was assessed using a self-completed questionnaire. Inhaler handling was assessed by a trained assessor using a checklist. Subjects did not inhale any medication in the study, so efficacy and safety were not measured.
Results: The ELLIPTA DPI was preferred to the BREEZHALER by 89% of subjects (odds ratio [OR] 70.14, 95% confidence interval [CI] 33.69-146.01; P-value not applicable for this inhaler) for ease of use, by 63% of subjects (OR 2.98, CI 1.87-4.77; P<0.0001) for ease of determining the number of doses remaining in the inhaler, by 91% for number of steps required, and by 93% for time needed for handling the inhaler. The BREEZHALER was preferred to the ELLIPTA DPI for comfort of the mouthpiece by 64% of subjects (OR 3.16, CI 1.97-5.06; P<0.0001). The incidence of handling errors (first attempt) was 11% with ELLIPTA and 68% with BREEZHALER; differences in incidence were generally similar when analyzed by age (< or ≥65 years) or sex.
Conclusion: These data, obtained in an inhalation device-naïve population, suggest that the ELLIPTA DPI is preferred to an established alternative based on its ease-of-use features and is associated with fewer handling errors.
Keywords: BREEZHALER™; ELLIPTA®; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; dry powder inhaler.