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New Guidance from PCRS-UK for stepping down inhaled steroids

PCRS-UK has published an algorithm to identify people with COPD who might benefit from inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) treatment and those in whom it may not be appropriate. It also offers an approach to withdrawing ICS in patients in whom it is not needed.

The document has been adapted, with permission, from the International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) and is based on current national guidance.

Noel Baxter, PCRS-UK Chair says: “This document will help clinicians to individualise treatment for patients by considering what type of airways disease they have and what the right treatment is for them while ensuring they avoid pneumonia and any side effects.

“It will also be useful for commissioners. Medicines optimisation teams have a responsibility to ensure patient safety and the clinical effectiveness of treatment while looking at areas where they can make cost savings that will release funding for higher value interventions in COPD.”

Carol Stonham, PCRS-UK Vice Chair says: “Getting the care right for patients whilst minimising side effects is vital. Many of us are considering the best way to review individual patients against the evidence base for best care of COPD but find the practical application of evidence tricky at best. Having started this process locally and found a number of differing algorithms available, this algorithm provides a safe effective approach to stepping down inhaled steroids.”

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