The findings from an international survey by GSK, published in The International Journal of COPD, found that, although clinicians are aware the long-term prognosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has significantly improved over the past decade, COPD patients still struggle to maintain treatment compliance and gain/afford access to today’s latest treatment options.
The London-based multinational pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare company, GSK, conducted a global survey, titled, “Continuing to Confront COPD International Survey” on 4,343 patients and 1,307 doctors from 12 countries. Its main purpose was to determine current trends in COPD, such as its prevalence, impact, and patients’ and medical professionals’ attitudes; and find out how much research and development has allowed COPD management to progress since the first global survey 10 years ago.
According to the report, almost 80% of physicians said they believe COPD patients’ outcomes have improved, as evidenced by better medications and increased smoking cessation/less passive smoking. However, when asked about how they felt about COPD patients’ ability to cope with the disease today, 79% believed they still had difficulty, as only 15% of physicians reported that most of their patients adhered completely to treatment. Some of the identified difficulties were: “poor inhaler technique, low patient education, and difficulties in managing multiple dosing regimens.” Additionally, a mere 7% of physicians recognized their patients’ difficulty in gaining access to treatment, and only 30% said none of their patients experienced any problems with treatment accessibility.
“GSK has a 40-year heritage in respiratory disease, and is committed to investing in landmark studies to further our understanding in the area. Our original survey was the first COPD cross-national, population-based survey of its kind more than a decade ago, and this update has provided new insights as to how the disease and its management have evolved,” said Kourtney Davis, PhD, GSK’s lead global epidemiologist on the survey.
“While it is encouraging that the availability of better treatments for COPD and improved education appear to be linked to better patient outcomes, our findings suggest there remains a need for novel ways to support patients in coping with this chronic and burdensome disease, particularly in terms of improving access to optimal treatment, including smoking cessation, increasing patient engagement and adherence, and supporting healthcare providers,” Davis added