February 3, 2016

COPD Guidelines Update Includes New COPD Therapies

New therapies for the management of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) have been highlighted in the latest update of the COPD-X Guidelines.

Lung Foundation Australia announced the recent update to The COPD-X Plan: Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for the Management of COPD after an extensive review of the published evidence in COPD up to December 2015.

At an international level, COPD-X is one of the most regularly updated COPD guidelines with evidence-based revisions conducted every quarter.

The recent update highlights the pharmacotherapy changes which include two new combination therapies and a new LAMA medicine device:

  • LAMA/LABA, Brimica (aclidinium/eformoterol)
  • LAMA/LABA, Spiolto (tiotropium/olodaterol)
  • LAMA, Spiriva Respimat (tiotropium bromide)

COPD-X Guidelines Committee Deputy Chair and Staff Specialist in the Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Dr Eli Dabscheck, said the COPD-X Guidelines were a vital tool to assist health professionals in keeping abreast of the latest medicines and treatment options for patients with COPD.

“Over the last few years we have seen the advent of many new therapies for COPD which only highlights the need for health professionals to be across the evidence to ensure effective management of their patients,” Dr Dabscheck said.

COPD affects 14.5% or one in seven) Australians 40 or older.1   In Australia, COPD is the fifth leading cause of death2.

The update also incorporates new information about the efficacy and safety of the umeclidinium/vilanterol combination; discussion of the increased risk of pneumonia with the fluticasone furoate/vilanterol combination; and new surgical techniques including endobronchial valves, endobronchial coils and emphysematous lung sealant.



The COPD-X Plan: Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for the Management of COPD is available online at copdx.org.au.

The latest version, V2.44 online can be found here to download as a pdf document (the pdf link will remain active until Friday 5 February, after which it can only be accessed via the website). The changes have been summarised and can be found on the website at: http://copdx.org.au/copd-x-plan/summary-of-the-major-changes-version-2-44-december-2015/

The following documents are also available on the COPD-X website:



  1. Toelle B, Xuan W, Bird T, Abramson M, Atkinson D, Burton D, James A, Jenkins C, Johns D, Maguire G, Musk A, Walters E, Wood-Baker R, Hunter M, Graham B, Southwell P, Vollmer W, Buist A, Marks G. Respiratory symptoms and illness in older Australians: The Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) study. Med J Aust 2013;198:144-148
  1. AIHW 2014 http://www.aihw.gov.au/copd/