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The Inhalation Drug Combination Equation

In recent years there has been an incredible rise in prescriptions of combination products to patients. These cutting-edge products – designed to offer multiple active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) simultaneously – are growing in popularity, driven by increasing demand for more effective, cheaper, and more convenient treatments for the rising number of diagnoses of serious respiratory conditions.

For example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) kills three million people globally every year, a number that is increasing year on year (1). The cost of treatment for diseases such as COPD is growing all the time. In the US alone, healthcare costs attributable to COPD are on track to reach $49 billion in 2021 (2).

It is no surprise that bodies, such as the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, are putting pressure on pharmaceutical companies to champion improvements in COPD therapies, which combination drugs are well placed to provide.

A Combination of Advantages

Drug products containing multiple APIs, such as a long-acting beta2-agonist, long-acting muscarinic antagonist, and inhaled corticosteroid, have key benefits for the treatment of COPD and serious asthma, compared with single-API treatments.

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Lei Mao is the Director of Inhalation Science and Product Development at Recipharm Laboratories. With over 20 years of experience, Lei has a wealth of knowledge in formulation and inhalation product development within the pharmaceutical industry. He started a career working as a senior scientist, where he developed particulate formulations for inhalation applications and has since held managerial positions for Big Pharma companies. He also holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a degree in Pharmacy.
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