Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Qualitative assessment of attributes and ease of use of the ELLIPTA™ dry powder inhaler for delivery of maintenance therapy for asthma and COPD

Henrik Svedsater, Peter Dale, Karl Garrill, Richard Walker and Mark W Woepse*

BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2013, 13:72  doi:10.1186/1471-2466-13-72

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Colour of Ellipta Inhaler Device

Toby Capstick   (2014-03-14 14:49)  Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

This is an interesting assessment of the Ellipta inhaler device in comparison to other commonly used devices. However it is somewhat disappointing that participants were provided with photos of the plain, unbranded Ellipta device used in the clinical trials. Whilst this was certainly to allow a fair assessment since patients will only have been familiar with the plain unbranded device, it is a failing of this study that this does not affect real-life practice.


The licensed fluticasone furoate/vilanterol (Breo / Relvar) Ellipta device is a light grey colour with a light blue coloured cover. In addition, the 92/22 strength device even has a light blue label. It is a shame that these colours were not tested to determine patient's preference and understanding associated with the light blue colour of the Ellipta inhaler.


In this study, the authors report that the plain unbranded Ellipta device was considered to be bland and disliked, and also that the purple colour of the diskus was described by one participant as 'easier to find and helps me remember when to use'. This is an important issue as patients frequently use the colour of their inhalers to remember when or how often they should use them. As healthcare professionals, we have spent years simplifying dosing regimens by advising patients to use their 'blue inhaler' as a 'reliever'. It is therefore somewhat disappointing that the Breo/Relvar Ellipta has been launched in a light blue colour that will be easily mistaken for a salbutamol reliever inhaler. There are concerns from Pharmacists in the UK that this confusion created by the poor colour choice of the Breo/Relvar Ellipta will result in dosing errors.

Competing interests

In the past five years I have received payment for educational sessions to various healthcare professionals from GSK, Novartis, Teva, Pfizer and AstraZeneca. I have also received sponsorship from Teva to attend conferences.


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