Thursday, October 14, 2010

Scenario in a Klinik Kesihatan

I have a patient discharged from a hospital to our clinic, and he is on life-long tiotropium bromide Handihaler (Spiriva) and Symbicort Turbohaler for chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD). As these medicines are not in the formulary our pejabat kesihatan daerah (district health office), the hospital is to supply us with those medicines.

When I called up the hospital, I was told that my clinic has to find an alternative since the hospital in low on budget and will no longer supply those medicines to my patient. So this prompted my mini search (or rather, refreshing of) COPD guidelines.Tiotropium bromide (List A*) [Spiriva] is a long-acting anticholinergics (duration: 24 hours) used for the long term maintanance treatment of bronchospasm and dyspnoea associated with COPD. It is usually added to standard therapy (e.g. inhaled steroids, theophylline) and the dose is 18mcg od.

Symbicort Turbohaler (List A) contains budesonide (a glucocorticosteroid) 160mcg and formoterol (long-acting beta2-agonist, duration: 12+ hours) 4.5 mcg; the dose is 1-2puff bd,max 4puff bd.

My clinic only has MDI salbutamol, MDI budesonide and MDI Berodual. MDI Berodual contains ipratropium bromide (a short-acting anticholinergics; duration: 6-8 hours) 20 mcg/dose and fenoterol hydrobromide (short-acting beta2-agonist); duration: 4-6 hours)50 mcg/dose.

According to the GOLD guidelines, an inhaled glucococorticosteroid combined with a long-acting beta2 bronchodilator is more effective than individual components in reducing exacerbations and improving lung function and health status.

Regular treatment with long-acting bronchodilators is more effective and convenient than treatment with short-acting bronchodilators.

GOLD guidelines: Therapy at each stage of COPD

Guidelines according to NICE

Since my patient is on a long-acting bronchodilator and inhaled steroids, his stage of COPD must have necessitated the use of these medicines, and that the short-acting bronchodilator and short-acting anticholinergics in my clinic are not sufficient for his condition. These are conveyed to the hospital and arrangement is made for them to supply us with those medicines currently, after which my budget-strained clinic has to exchange similar-valued medicines with tiotropium and Symbicort Turbohaler from the hospital for my patient's life-long supply of medicines. I believe that patient's care should not be compromised even when he is under follow-up in a clinic !

1 comment:

  1. Yeah i believe tat too.
    however, pharmacist has an important role to play in educating the patient about the important of using the inhalers correctly and adhere to the treatment.
    we can always get them the best medication in the world, if they are not compliance, it will be waste of medication esp those medication are not cheap.!

    For your information, salmeterol-fluticasone (Seretide(R)from GSK, is currently supported its positive results on COPD patients (TORCH study) [] Correct me if I'm wrong or not up-to-date, the efficacy of Symbicort(R) is mainly on asthma rather than COPD (SMART is on asthma patients). While tiotropium has a 4 year multi-centers trial on COPD patients (UPLIFT).