Understanding of COPD improved through GSK supported independent medical education program

The number of treatments for COPD has increased over the past few years with new medicines launching into the market. Each medicine is created to assist with particular aspects of respiratory diseases and is designed to be used with its own inhaler device. This, in turn, has led to confusion among GPs and Healthcare Providers regarding which medicine is most suitable in improving the health of patients with COPD and how they should be directing these patients to use their prescribed product. 

GSK has partnered with VentureWise (the commercial arm of NPS MedicineWise), providing an unrestricted grant to implement an independent medical education program – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Asthma – a Multifaceted Education Intervention for Primary Care - to address the issue.

“COPD is an area of high priority for NPS Medicine Wise, as there is confusion about therapeutic options and appropriate management within the primary care environment,” Dr Lynn Weekes, CEO,  NPS MedicineWise .

The program, funded by GSK, aimed to provide greater clarity to healthcare providers on medicine choices for COPD. The program was specifically structured around the Australian COPDX guideline key recommendations and to address quality use of medicines (QUM) issues related to pharmacological treatment with inhalers for patients diagnosed with stable COPD.

The specific QUM issues the project addressed included:

  • Educate about COPDX guideline which recommend a stepwise approach to the treatment of COPD.
  • Ensuring the healthcare providers understand the different classes and inhalers available for the treatment of COPD and the appropriate selection of the right medicine/inhaler for the right patient
  • Review and address any inadvertent duplication of classes of treatments for COPD.

The project found that there was a significant improvement of GP understanding on when to prescribe particular medications and inhaler devices. Following the educational visit and 17% changing their practice by the time a follow up survey was after the educational visit conducted – a number 2-3 times higher than what is typically seen for other programs- with another 43% expressing an intention to change their practice.

It was found that the COPD topic and content resonated well with GPs and the resources provided were of value. The program serves as a model for future educational programs about COPD and asthma.

“GSK is funding more independent medical education because we have changed the way we provide medical education to healthcare professionals.  Instead of paying doctors to speak about our medicines we have increased the number of doctors who work for GSK to provide more peer-to-peer dialogue and we invest in independent medical education,” said Dr Andrew Weekes, GSK Medical Director.

More can be found at our website: http://au.gsk.com/en-au/healthcare-professionals/interactions-with-prescribers/

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