Roflumilast for severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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1 Issue date: January 2012 Understanding NICE guidance Information for people who use NHS services NICE technology appraisal guidance advises on when and how drugs and other treatments should be used in the NHS. Roflumilast for severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease This leaflet is about when roflumilast should be used to treat people with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (which is sometimes shortened to COPD) in the NHS in England and Wales. It explains guidance (advice) from NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence). It is written for people with severe COPD but it may also be useful for their families or carers or for anyone with an interest in the condition. It does not describe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or the treatments in detail a member of your healthcare team should discuss these with you. You can get more information from the organisations listed on page 4. Information about NICE technology appraisal guidance 244 1

2 There are several possible treatments for COPD. Your healthcare team should talk to you about the treatment options available. What has NICE said? NICE recommends roflumilast for people with severe COPD only if they are taking part in a research study (clinical trial) that is investigating using roflumilast at the same time as a bronchodilator (a type of inhaled drug). Why has NICE said this? NICE looks at how well treatments work, and also at how well they work in relation to how much they cost the NHS. NICE recommended that roflumilast should be used only as part of a research study because at the moment there is not enough evidence about how well it works or about the best way to use it to recommend it for use in the NHS. Severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (also known as COPD) is a condition that makes breathing difficult. COPD is a broad term that covers several lung conditions, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It usually develops because of long-term damage to the lungs from breathing in a harmful substance (such as cigarette smoke or chemical fumes). Roflumilast Roflumilast is a tablet that can be taken alongside a bronchodilator (inhaled medicine that helps keep the airways open) to make it less likely that you will have a flare-up of symptoms. It works by blocking an enzyme that causes inflammation. Information about NICE technology appraisal guidance 244 2

3 What does this mean for me? You should be offered roflumilast for COPD on the NHS only if you have been asked to take part in a research study (clinical trial). Your healthcare professional should talk to you about other treatment options available to you. NICE will review this guidance when the results of more research are available. If you are already taking roflumilast for COPD, you should be able to continue taking it until you and your healthcare professional decide it is the right time to stop. Information about NICE technology appraisal guidance 244 3

4 More information The organisation below can provide more information and support for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by this organisation. British Lung Foundation, NHS Choices ( may be a good place to find out more. Your local patient advice and liaison service (usually known as PALS ) may be able to give you more information and support. If you live in Wales you should speak to NHS Direct Wales for information on who to contact. Information about NICE technology appraisal guidance 244 4

5 About NICE NICE produces guidance (advice) for the NHS about preventing, diagnosing and treating medical conditions. The guidance is written by independent experts, including healthcare professionals and people representing patients and carers. They consider the evidence on the disease and treatments, the views of patients and carers and the experiences of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, and consider the costs involved. Staff working in the NHS are expected to follow this guidance. To find out more about NICE, its work and how it reaches decisions, see This document and other versions of the guidance aimed at healthcare professionals are available at The NICE website has a screen reader service called Browsealoud, which allows you to listen to our guidance. Click on the Browsealoud logo on the NICE website to use this service. We encourage NHS and voluntary organisations to use text from this document in their own information about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence MidCity Place, 71 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6NA; ISBN Jan 12 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, All rights reserved. This material may be freely reproduced for educational and not-forprofit purposes. No reproduction by or for commercial organisations, or for commercial purposes, is allowed without the express written permission of NICE. Information about NICE technology appraisal guidance 244 5

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