The Scottish Medicines Consortium has approved the use of GlaxoSmithKline’s Avamys (fluticasone furoate) - a once-daily nasal spray for the treatment of the symptoms of allergic rhinitis – on the National Health Service in Scotland.

Specifically, the SMC has endorsed the use of Avamys, which offers symptom relief for 24 hours at a time, to treat the symptoms of hay fever in adults, adolescents (12 years and over) and children (six to 11 years).

The product won regulatory approval in January last year, at which time GSK noted that Avamys is the first intranasal corticosteroid spray “consistently to demonstrate significant improvement in relieving overall symptoms associated with allergy such as red, itchy, burning and watery eyes”.

Furthermore, GSK also touted the “advanced, ergonomically-designed device” that, it claims, addresses the shortcomings of other nasal sprays on the market and could help it to attain the blockbuster status analysts are predicting.

The Avamys device has a side-actuated button to make it easier to use and delivers what GSK describes as “a gentle and scent-free mist with a low volume of spray”, which means patients are not left with a bitter taste or the effects of drip down the back of the throat.

Patient preference
These attributes are clearly an advantage, as two patient-preference studies included in the SMC’s evaluation showed that a significantly greater proportion of hay fever patients expressed a preference for Avamys over fluticasone propionate nasal spray on a number of indicators, such as the gentleness of mist and reduced aftertaste.

Moreover, its costing analysis estimated that using Avamys instead of beclometasone dipropionate, fluticasone propionate and mometasone furoate – the three most frequently used intranasal steroid products for allergic rhinitis in Scotland – could even result in a minor cost saving, the company said.