Now available in Quebec, Ultibro® Breezhaler®, a once-daily dual bronchodilator for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

  • In Quebec alone 386,000 people suffer from COPD and it is the fourth leading cause of death in Canada. Quebec, along with the Atlantic Provinces, has the highest COPD attributable deaths.1

DORVAL, QC, Feb. 3, 2015 /CNW/ - Quebec patients living with COPD now have access to Ultibro® Breezhaler® with its addition to the list of medications of the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) as "Médicament d'exception" for the treatment of patients with COPD whose symptoms are not adequately controlled after a three month trial with a long acting bronchodilator. The Quebec government has become the first public payer in Canada to reimburse Ultibro® Breezhaler®. It is available in pharmacies province-wide.

"It is great news that patients in Quebec will now have access to this important long- acting bronchodilator combination therapy," said Dr. Jean Bourbeau, Director of the Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit (RECRU), Montreal Chest Institute, McGill Health Center. "A new treatment option which is taken once daily to improve lung function and reduce flare-ups is a welcome advance for my patients."

Ultibro® Breezhaler® (Indacaterol 110 mcg / glycopyrronium bromide 50 mcg) is a fixed-dose combination (FDC) of the active ingredients of two bronchodilators, Onbrez® Breezhaler® (indacaterol maleate), a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA)2 and Seebri® Breezhaler® (glycopyrronium bromide), a long-acting anticholinergic (LAAC).3 Both are currently used by healthcare professionals as individual therapies to treat COPD in Canada.

Ultibro® Breezhaler® is a steroid-free medication approved as a maintenance bronchodilator treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.4

About COPD
COPD is a progressive life-threatening disease that makes it hard to breathe, with symptoms that have a destructive impact on patients' lung function and quality of life.5,6  Essential daily activities such as climbing stairs can become very difficult as the condition gradually worsens.7

It affects an estimated 210 million people worldwide8 and is projected to be the third leading cause of death by 2020.5 In Canada, 2009-2010 estimates show that 4 per cent of Canadians aged 35 and older are affected. Cigarette smoking is the principal cause, accounting for 80 per cent of COPD deaths.9 Quebec, along with the Atlantic Provinces, has the highest COPD attributable deaths.1 In Quebec alone 386,000 people suffer from COPD and it is the fourth leading cause of death in Canada.1

COPD is often considered to be a disease of later years, but estimates suggest that 50 per cent of those with COPD are now less than 65 years old, resulting in increases in absenteeism, premature retirement and reductions in workforce participation.10 COPD symptoms can impose a significant burden on patients and reduce quality of life.10,11 There is a need for newer treatment options in COPD because many patients remain symptomatic despite medical therapy.12 

About the Novartis COPD portfolio
Novartis is committed to addressing the medical needs of patients with respiratory diseases and improving their quality of life by providing innovative medicines and devices.

About Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., a leader in the healthcare field, is committed to the discovery, development and marketing of innovative products to improve the well-being of all Canadians. In 2012, the company invested close to $100 million in research and development in Canada. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. employs more than 600 people in Canada. For further information, please consult

About Novartis
Located in Dorval, Novartis Pharmaceuticals inc. is an affiliate of Novartis AG, which provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and over-the-counter products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2013, the Group achieved net sales of USD 57.9 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 130,000 full-time-equivalent associates and sell products in more than 150 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

* Ultibro, Onbrez, Seebri and Breezhaler are registered trademarks



Quebec Lung Association- COPD, Bronchitis and Emphysema.  Available at: Last accessed January 27, 2015.


Onbrez® Breezhaler® Product Monograph, January 2, 2015.


Seebri® Breezhaler® Product Monograph, August 7, 2014.


Ultibro® Breezhaler® Product Monograph, August 18, 2014.


Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Updated 2014. [Accessed 21 August 2014].


Joshi M, Joshi A, Bartter T. Symptom burden in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer. Curr Opin Pulm Med 2012;18:97-103.


World Health Organization. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Factsheet No. 315, Available at: [Accessed 5 August 2014].


Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD). Global surveillance, prevention and control of chronic respiratory diseases: a comprehensive approach. Available at: [Accessed 21 August 2014].


PHAC. Fast facts about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 2011. Available from: [Accessed 21 August 2014].


Fletcher MJ et al. COPD Uncovered: An International survey on the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on a working age population. BMC Public Health 2011;11:612.


daCosta M et al. The burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among employed adults. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2012;7:211-219. Published online 2012 March 19. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S29280. [Accessed 21 August 2014].


Hersh CP. Pharmacogenetics of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: challenges and opportunities. Pharmacogenomics 2010;11(2):237-247.

SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

For further information: Novartis Media Relations: Elizabeth Tanguay, Novartis Pharma Canada inc., +1?514?633?7873,; Yannick Gayama, Weber Shandwick, +1-514-447-3943,

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