Long-acting inhaled /&-agonists (LABS), used in conjunction with low-dose inhaled steroids, are a recommended alternative to high-dose inhaled steroids for asthmatics with persistent symptoms (1). There are, however, few published data regarding their cost-effectiveness. The drugs are relatively expensive and the aim of this study was to evaluateLAB cost-effectiveness in primary care, in terms of improved clinical outcomes (associated with reduced NHS costs) offsetting higher prescription costs. A controlled, retrospective, non-randomized analysis utilized the computerized Thorpewood Primary Care Database and compared clinical outcomes and asthma management costs 1 yr prior to and 1 yr after initiation of therapy with salmeterolxinafoate.
The authors wish to thank Leanne Rice of GlaxoWellcome U.K. for statistical analysis and GWUK for supporting the
writing of the manuscript.