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Annals of Internal MedicineComparative Effectiveness and Safety of Generic Versus Brand-Name Fluticasone–Salmeterol to Treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Generic vs. Brand-Name Inhalers: A Level Playing Field for COPD Treatment

In a healthcare landscape where cost-effectiveness is increasingly important, a new study scrutinizes the efficacy and safety of generic and brand-name fluticasone–salmeterol inhalers in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Study Design:
  • Design: 1:1 propensity score–matched cohort study
  • Setting: Large, longitudinal healthcare database
  • Participants: Adults more than 40 years diagnosed with COPD
  • Measurements: Incidence of first moderate or severe COPD exacerbation and first pneumonia hospitalization within 365 days post-cohort entry
Key Findings:
  • Effectiveness: Nearly identical incidence of first moderate or severe COPD exacerbation between Advair Diskus and Wixela Inhub users (HR, 0.97 [95% CI, 0.90 to 1.04])
  • Safety: Comparable rates of first pneumonia hospitalization between the two groups (HR, 0.99 [CI, 0.86 to 1.15])
  • Limitations: Short follow-up times and the possibility of residual confounding

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