Spiriva Respimat is now available by prescription in US pharmacies for the treatment of adult and adolescent asthma, according to manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. The US FDA approved a once-daily dose of Spiriva Respimat 2.5 µg (delivered in 2 puffs of 1.25 µg each) for the long-term maintenance treatment of asthma in people ages 12 and older. Spiriva Respimat is not a treatment for sudden asthma symptoms. In the treatment of asthma, the maximum benefits in lung function may take up to four to eight weeks of dosing.

“Despite taking other daily maintenance treatments, many people with asthma continue to experience symptoms, including coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath,” said Michael B. Foggs, MD, Chief of Allergy & Immunology, Advocate Medical Group, Advocate Health Care Chicago. “For these patients, adding Spiriva Respimat to maintenance controller therapy may help open airways to improve breathing and reduce the likelihood of asthma flare-ups or exacerbations*.”

One survey found 55% of people with asthma taking at least one treatment still experienced symptoms, which can have a negative impact on their ability to perform daily activities.

Unlike other asthma daily maintenance treatments, Spiriva Respimat is from a new class of medications in asthma known as long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs), the first new class of inhaled medicine approved in over 10 years for asthma. As a LAMA, it is steroid-free and works differently than a long-acting beta2 agonist (LABA).

Unlike many newly introduced prescription medicines, formulary access for Spiriva Respimat in asthma (https://www.spiriva.com/asthma) is already favorable and widely covered by most major Commercial and Medicare insurance plans – with similar formulary access to Spiriva Respimat in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In addition, Boehringer Ingelheim will offer a savings card that will allow most eligible people to obtain Spiriva Respimat for the treatment of asthma at no cost for 12 consecutive months, depending on their insurance provider. This savings card is available on www.SpirivaSavings.com and in the Spiriva Respimat patient brochure. The savings card can be activated at most pharmacies.

Spiriva Respimat is approved at two different doses, one for asthma and one for COPD. For asthma, it is approved as a once-daily dose of 2.5 µg (delivered in 2 puffs of 1.25 µg each). Spiriva Respimat is also approved as a once-daily dose of 5 µg (delivered in 2 puffs of 2.5 µg each) for the maintenance treatment of COPD. Both doses for Spiriva Respimat should be taken as 2 puffs once daily.

“As an industry leader in respiratory, Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to addressing unmet needs and to improving patient care for those with serious respiratory diseases, such as asthma,” said Clare Burrows, vice president, Respiratory Marketing, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “The approval of Spiriva Respimat marks our entrance into the asthma space and we are proud to offer a new approach for healthcare providers and patients to consider for the treatment of asthma.”

The FDA approved Spiriva Respimat for the treatment of asthma based on efficacy and safety data from a comprehensive clinical trial program, including 12 trials of approximately 5,000 adults and adolescents with mild, moderate and severe symptomatic asthma on at least an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) or ICS/LABA.