Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are not in control of their condition, new research by Chiesi has revealed. This could be leading to costly A&E visits and hospital stays which may be dramatically reduced if they were being treated adequately.
These are the results of the new ‘Breathing Life into COPD’ survey, carried out by Opinion Health on behalf of pharmaceutical company Chiesi. The survey questioned 500 people across the UK and showed that 31 per cent believed their treatment was not adequately controlling their condition, and almost half were using at least three different inhalers to help keep their condition under control. Yet they are still being struck by flare-ups where their condition suddenly worsens, making breathing even more difficult than usual. These flare-ups can be caused by an infection such as a cold or for an unknown reason.
With 1.2 million people in the UK affected by COPD, and potentially another two million undiagnosed cases, the condition is estimated to cost the NHS more than £800m a year and the overall economy some £3.8bn in lost productivity., This may be due in part to the 21 per cent of COPD patients who said they had visited A&E up to twice in the past year because of a flare-up.
Worryingly, 60 percent of survey participants do not feel there is enough support available to help them manage their condition properly.1 Now is the time to address this, as we approach the winter months here in the UK, as there are 30 percent more hospitalised COPD exacerbations during the winter than there are in the summer.
Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation said, “It’s vital that healthcare professionals are supporting patients by helping them to effectively manage their condition at home. Providing patients with information about treatments, services, and support beyond the clinic or hospital will play a big part in helping them to adapt to their condition, and, will ultimately reduce pressure on already stretched hospital services.”