Inhaler Medication Reminders for COPD Improved Adherence

Woman using asthma inhaler
Woman using asthma inhaler
Patients with COPD who received medication reminders via the BreatheMate device had greater adherence to inhaled medication than those without reminders.

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who received medication reminders via the BreatheMate device had greater adherence to inhaled medication than those without reminders, according to the results of a recent study published in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Researchers conducted a phase 4, randomized, multicenter, open-label study ( Identifier: NCT02864342) by enrolling patients aged 40 years and older with moderate to very severe COPD and at least a 10 pack-year smoking history. Participants received the BreatheMate device, smartphone application, and vouchers to redeem pressurized metered dose inhalers. The intervention group also received twice daily electronic reminders for therapy. The primary endpoint was treatment adherence, defined as 2 puffs within 60 minutes, twice daily over a 6-month timeframe.

Among the 138 patients with COPD enrolled in the study, 68 were randomly assigned to the intervention group, while 70 were in the control group (no reminders). After 6 months, a higher mean proportion of adherent days and sets of adherent puffs per day were recorded for the intervention group vs the control group (77.6% vs 60.2% and 1.61 vs 1.33, respectively; P <.001 for all). After adjusting for age, race, smoking status, patients in the intervention group had 3.07 times more likely to being adherent during the study compared with the control group (P =.003). Furthermore, overuse, underuse, and no use days were lower in the intervention group vs control group (P <.05 for all).

“Patients with COPD who received daily medication reminders were significantly more likely to be adherent to their ICS/LABA therapy than patients who did not receive any reminders,” the study authors wrote. “The effects of medication reminders on ICS/LABA adherence were more pronounced in patients aged ≥65 years.”

Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Criner GJ, Cole T, Hahn KA, Kastango K, Eudicone J, Gilbert I. The impact of budesonide/formoterol pmdi medication reminders on adherence in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients: results of a randomized, phase 4, clinical study. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2021;16:563-577. doi:10.2147/COPD.S253770