Forward-Looking National Plan Aims to End COPD

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has released the first-ever COPD National Action Plan, which is aimed at ending the illness.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, and a partnership of federal and non-federal organizations is looking to end the illness.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has released the first-ever COPD National Action Plan. The plan is a patient-centered roadmap and was unveiled at the American Thoracic Society International Conference.

“This plan represents a new understanding of what it takes, at every level, to minimize the burden of COPD,” Gary H. Gibbons, MD, director of NHLBI, said in a statement. “Through thoughtful collaboration with federal agencies, patients, advocates, and researchers, we will help the millions who continue to endure this debilitating disease.”

There are 16 million Americans diagnosed with COPD, which costs the country more than $32 billion a year. However, there are likely millions more who do not know they have it, according to the National Institutes of Health, which NHLBI is a part of.

While there is no cure for COPD, it can be preventable and is highly treatable. There are 5 goals for the COPD National Action Plan:

  1. Empower people with COPD, their families, and caregivers to recognize and reduce the burden of COPD
  2. Improve the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and management of COPD by improving the quality of care delivered
  3. Collect, analyze, report, and disseminate COPD-related public health data that drive change and track progress
  4. Increase and sustain research to better understand the prevention, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and management of COPD
  5. Translate national policy, educational, and program recommendations into research and public healthcare actions

The plan was informed through organized workshops between stakeholders of the COPD community, including patients and families, healthcare providers, academics, and industry representatives.

“The enthusiasm of members from the COPD community in sharing its insights has been invaluable throughout this process,” said James P. Kiley, PhD, director of NHLBI’s Division of Lung Diseases. “The different perspectives brought by those who live these issues every day contributed to making this a clear, coordinated way forward for all stakeholders. We look forward to working together to improve the lives of those living with COPD.”

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