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Time is Your Ally

What are the risks in the 'wait and see' approach for patients with COPD who are not adequately treated on their ICS/LABA maintenance therapy?

COPD Exacerbations

43% of patients on a COPD treatment have experienced an exacerbation* within the last 12 months and 52% still experience ongoing breathlessness 1-2.

COPD lung function

Exacerbations** drive disease progression in your patients by accelerating lung function loss and reducing quality of life 3-4.

COPD Triple therapy

24% of patients who received an ICS/LABA therapy at time of diagnosis had stepped-up to triple therapy within 24 months 5.

When is the right time for COPD triple therapy?

Doctors who want to wait to start triple therapy may wait and see but then find they are too late. Their patient may have lost lung function that cannot be regained. If a patient needs additional therapy now, why not provide that?

- Professor Paul Jones PhD, FRCP, FERS,(GSK Global Medical Expert)*.

*Professor Paul Jones is an employee of GlaxoSmithKline and holds stocks and shares in the company.

See Which Patients are Ready for Triple Therapy

Video: Meet Julie

Watch the video to hear about Julie, a patient you may be very familiar with. Dr Jennifer Quint, Consultant Respiratory Physician, discusses why this patient is ready for triple therapy. She is joined by Dr Sue Collier, UK National Physician Lead, GSK Respiratory and Frances Barrett, Practice Nurse specialising in respiratory care.

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Act with Triple Therapy: Download the case studies

Download for insights on identifying patients who need more from their maintenance therapy now. It includes:

COPD Case Study
  • Two patient case studies showing the importance of considering each patient’s own presentation of COPD
  • The current opinion on time to prescribe triple therapy
  • Important factors in assessing your patients


*Defined as at least 1 hospitalisation and/or at least 2 non-hospitalised exacerbations. An analysis of a cohort of patients with COPD within the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink who initiated treatment with a LAMA, LABA, or combination of LAMA/LABA or ICS/LABA (n=63,900). Data on exacerbations were available for all patients 2.

**Defined as a worsening of symptoms, or has experienced an exacerbation treated with antibiotics or oral corticosteroid in the past 12 months.


  1. Rebordosa C et al. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Sef 2019 Feb;28(2):126-133.
  2. Rebordosa C et al. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2019 Feb;28(2):126-133, Supplementary material.
  3. Barnes PJ et al. Nat Rev Dis Primers 2015; 1:15078. doi: 10. 1038/nrdp.2015.2015.76.
  4. Donaldson G et al. Thorax 2002; 57(10):847-852.
  5. Wurst KE, Punekar YS, Shukla A. PloS One 2014, 9: e105296.

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