Corporate Responsibility

Sandoz recognizes World COPD Day

November 20, 2013
Today Sandoz recognizes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) day, raising awareness of the disease itself and those whom it most affects

COPD is a lung ailment characterized by a persistent blockage of airflow from the lungs. It is a preventable, yet under-diagnosed, life-threatening lung disease that interferes with normal breathing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the primary cause of COPD is tobacco smoke, including second-hand or passive exposure.

“COPD significantly reduces a person’s quality of life,” said Dr. Spencer Jones, Sandoz Global Head of Medical Affairs, Respiratory. “Patients suffer from a persistent cough, breathlessness, and excessive mucus build-up in their lungs. Breathing becomes challenging. Often patients suffer from frequent exacerbations, leading to hospitalization.”

Almost 90% of COPD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, where there is a higher risk of exposure to indoor air pollution (such as solid fuel used for cooking and heating) and where effective strategies for prevention and control are not always implemented or accessible. Total deaths from COPD are projected to increase by more than 30% in the next 10 years, according to the WHO.

“On average, it takes about 20 to 30 years for a smoker to develop COPD,” said Jones. “Therefore, we expect a big increase in COPD in developing countries mostly due to the increase in smoking prevalence. COPD is also a massive source of healthcare spend in many developed countries, such as the UK.”

COPD is not curable. Various forms of treatment can help control its symptoms and increase quality of life. People with COPD should speak with their doctor to find out which treatment option is best for them.

“Our mission is to increase global patient access to high-quality healthcare,” said Jones. “Sandoz provides affordable options for the treatment of COPD and many other diseases and conditions.”

World COPD Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) to improve awareness and care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) around the world.

Learn more about COPD by visiting the WHO’s website.

Learn about the Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases here.


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