Global burden

COPD is a significant economic burden around the world.1 Costs include both direct costs associated with diagnosis and medical management, and indirect costs such as disability, lost revenue from giving up employment, and caregiver or family costs associated with caring for patients with COPD.2

The financial burden of COPD increases with disease progression and severity. The 'Confronting COPD' study showed that nearly a quarter of patients with COPD who were included in the study saw a physician once a month for their COPD, and one third visited a physician at least every 6 months.

Moreover, high costs are associated with frequent exacerbations, hospitalization and ambulatory oxygen therapy required by those with advanced COPD.4 The number of patients with COPD admitted to hospital or requiring emergency care is high, illustrating the urgent unmet need to reduce the frequency of exacerbations and therefore the need for hospital care.2


  1. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD): Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of COPD. 2013.
  2. Wouters EFM. Economic analysis of the Confronting COPD survey: an overview of results. Respir Med 2003;97:S3-14.
  3. Rennard S, Decramer M, Calverley PM, et al. Impact of COPD in North America and Europe in 2000: subjects’ perspective of Confronting COPD International Survey. Eur Respir J 2002;20:799-805.
  4. Jansson SA, Andersson F, Borg S, et al. Costs of COPD in Sweden according to disease severity. Chest 2002;122:1994-2002.

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