November 20, 2015

The COPD Foundation is pleased to announce the 2015 Air Affair Benefit awardees for their extraordinary commitment to COPD awareness and the advancement of a COPD cure. The following individuals and organizations were recognized at the Air Affair held in New York City on World COPD Day, November 18, 2015.

AstraZeneca - The COPD Innovations Award

The COPD Foundation recognizes AstraZeneca for their exceptional support of the COPD360 initiative and digital platform. COPD360 will eventually combine patient-reported outcomes, clinical data, electronic medical records and observational research into one of the largest COPD research networks ever assembled. By building this broad understanding of the disease, the Foundation will uncover new opportunities for academic and industry researchers to identify new treatments that could lead to a cure.

David and Julie Knight - The COPD Trailblazer Award

The world lost a legendary figure in February 2015 with the passing of Leonard Nimoy. An individual living with COPD, Nimoy raised public awareness about the disease and the dangers of smoking. His daughter Julie Nimoy with her husband David Knight are in the process of creating a documentary titled “COPD: Highly Illogical – A Special Tribute to Leonard Nimoy” to highlight his legacy as well as his efforts to fight the disease that so tragically took his life.

November 18, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 18, 2015 – The COPD Foundation today unveiled the results of the completed Faces of COPD Mosaic, a nationwide photo mosaic initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of disease education for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Throughout November during COPD Awareness Month, the Foundation and AstraZeneca engaged with the COPD community to develop this photo mosaic, which showcases those living with the disease through the collection of photos of patients living with COPD. The mosaic represents the more than 14 million people diagnosed with COPD in the United States, and the estimated 12 million people who remain undiagnosed.

Commemorating World COPD Day, the completed mosaic is live on the Foundation’s website and will be on display in physician offices throughout the country, encouraging patients with COPD to take proactive steps in talking with their doctor on how to best manage their symptoms. COPD is estimated to cause about 700,000 hospitalizations annually in the United States, and although treatable, it is the third leading cause of death among Americans.

“The COPD Foundation remains committed to improving the quality of life of those impacted by COPD, through research and disease education,” says John Walsh, President and Co-founder of the COPD Foundation. “We are thrilled to share the results of our collaboration with AstraZeneca around this patient centric initiative. Together, we hope to inspire people living with COPD to take action to improve their respiratory health.”

Faces of COPD is a disease awareness program established by the COPD Foundation in 2008, with the intent to put a “face” to the disease, connect those affected by COPD with a community to engage in important disease awareness conversations and build a strong focus around respiratory health. This year’s Faces of COPD Mosaic initiative was developed by AstraZeneca.

November 09, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. November 9, 2015 – The COPD Foundation in partnership with Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Sunovion) today announced the launch of a new video series, Reel COPD, to share the first-hand stories of patients and their caregivers as they cope with COPD. The first three videos in the series are now live on, and highlight the existing tools and resources available to patients and caregivers.

The COPD Foundation and Sunovion initiated COPD Together in 2013 to empower and educate caregivers about managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The three new videos collectively share the real-life insights of more than a dozen patients and caregivers, providing inspiration and guidance for others faced with managing the challenges of COPD.

“As November is both National Family Caregiver and COPD Awareness Month, we feel it is an opportune time to focus on the instrumental role that COPD caregivers play,” said John W. Walsh, President and co-founder of the COPD Foundation. “We will continue to build partnerships and implement campaigns that make an impact, encourage caregivers and patients to share their personal stories, and overcome day-to-day challenges.”

To learn more, please visit Sunovion’s website at

November 09, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. - November 9, 2015 - The COPD Foundation today announced a tweet chat with the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) to raise awareness and education of COPD. Happening today at noon Eastern, the chat will pose and discuss questions as it relates to COPD management, optimal treatment outcomes, and improving the patient/physician dialogue. To participate in the tweet chat, participants can use the hashtag #COPDChat on Twitter.

COPD is a growing problem in the U.S. and in one decade has risen from the fourth leading cause of death to the third, after heart disease and cancer. Although COPD is not curable, it is important for patients to understand that it is both manageable and treatable. Through early discussions with a primary care physician or pulmonologist, it is possible for patients to receive early diagnosis and begin building proper nutrition, exercise and treatment plans unique to their lifestyle and favorable for decreased disease progression.

5.5 percent of U.S. health costs are spent on chronic lung disease with a total of $49.9 billion annual costs accounting for COPD alone. Additionally, 26 percent of U.S. respondents reported visiting the emergency room with 17 percent having been hospitalized in 2014.

During the #COPDChat, GSK, AARC and the COPD Foundation will be joined by knowledgeable healthcare providers, eager and ready to discuss expert information on COPD and how to better manage the disease so patients are able to maintain a healthy and comfortable quality of life.

November 02, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 2, 2015 – The 2nd COPD Global Patient Leadership Summit was held in Paris, France on October 28-30, 2015. Building on last year's summit in Madrid, Spain, this year's meeting welcomed patient representatives from additional countries – some traveling from as far as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, China, and Canada. Dubbed the 'United Nations of COPD,’ there were a number of informative presentations outlining problems, solutions, projects, and ambitions that dealt with regional as well as global issues. The event was organized by the COPD Foundation along with input from the leadership of a number of partner organizations.

Presentation topics included:

  • Genetic COPD: Rabiya Taok, Beirut, Lebanon
  • COPD in Urban Environment, Shirley Ngai, Hong Kong, China
  • COPD in Rural Environment, Adel Khattab, Cairo, Egypt
  • History of the Czech COPD/Lung Patients Organization, Stanislov Kos, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Thinking of the Patient's Needs, Jos Donkers, The Netherlands
  • How to influence government policy and advocate for better diagnosis and treatment, Lan Thi Thuyet, Vietnam
  • Pulmonary Rehab and Air Travel for COPD Patients: Dan Smyth, Ireland

October 30, 2015

East Hanover, NJ - October 30, 2015 -The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Novartis' new dual combination bronchodilator Utibron Neohaler inhalation powder for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Utibron Neohaler (indacaterol/glycopyrrolate) can be used for the long-term maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with COPD, including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema. Utibron Neohaler demonstrated superior and sustained improvements in lung function compared to either of its single bronchodilator components. The company said it does not replace the use of a rescue inhaler.

"Patients have told us about the tremendous impact their COPD can have on everyday activities," said Christi Shaw, US Country Head, President of Novartis Corporation and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. "With this approval, the COPD community now has a new medicine that can help so many patients by improving not only their symptoms, but also their health-related quality of life. This means the possibility of doing things that matter to them."

Novartis expects that Utibron Neohaler will be available in the first quarter of 2016.

October 28, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 28, 2015 –The COPD Foundation is pleased to celebrate COPD Awareness Month, an internationally recognized event held annually in November to enhance exposure around chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Throughout the month, the COPD Foundation will partner with respiratory health organizations to host various online and in-person activities that will allow COPD community members to rally, inform, and support one another. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a progressive lung disease with symptoms that include shortness of breath, wheezing, and cough. It is responsible for 3 million deaths - or 6% of all deaths worldwide - and is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Key statistics about COPD include:

  • 6.8 million adults, or nearly 3% of the total population, are suffering from COPD in the U.S.
  • Every 4 minutes, someone dies in the U.S. of COPD
  • COPD is the primary cause of 285,000 visits to the emergency hospitalizations annually in the U.S.
  • Approximately one in five Americans over the age of 45 live with COPD

The Foundation’s awareness theme for the month is “Me and COPD,” which highlights the organization’s efforts to promote personalized care to members in the COPD community. The “Me and COPD” campaign was designed to recognize not only the patients affected by the disease, but caregivers, friends, family, and healthcare providers who may be indirectly impacted by COPD. The Foundation is asking anyone affected by this disease to help support its efforts by promoting the Foundation’s digital toolkit, which can be found at Campaign resources include social media posts, infographics, videos, and much more.

October 23, 2015

West Haven, CT - October 23, 2015 - The COPD Foundation is excited to partner with the Healthy West Haven Collaborative to raise awareness and funds to fight chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for the first-ever Breathe STRONG Rally in the area. The event will be held on Friday, November 13, 2015 at the West Haven Italian American Club at 85 Chase Lane/West Haven, CT from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. The goal of the Breathe STRONG Rally is to bring the community together to cure COPD, a progressive lung disease that affects 30 million Americans.

All of those affected by COPD are encouraged to participate in this unique event as it will unite patients and their families, caregivers, and healthcare providers for a day of education and entertainment. Attendees will have the opportunity participate in games and activities, as well as a baked goods, crafts, and tag sale. While it is free to participate in the rally, attendees are encouraged to recruit 10 people to donate $10 each to the COPD Foundation.

October 15, 2015

The COPD Foundation and Alpha-1 Foundation today issued a statement of support for Robert Califf, MD, as the new commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Califf, 63, joined the FDA as deputy commissioner in March after more than 30 years as a prominent cardiologist and medical researcher at Duke University. He is among the most cited medical authors in academia, with more than 1,200 journal articles.

"Dr. Califf will be a brilliant FDA director," said John Walsh, president and co-founder of both the COPD Foundation and the Alpha-1 Foundation.

"I worked with him on PCORI (the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute). He was an insightful, passionate, and innovative thinker," Walsh said. "I consider him a leader in the healthcare field and someone dedicated to advancing medicine, both within the respiratory sphere and for all disease states."

PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research, or CER, with an approach called Patient-Centered Outcomes Research that "addresses the questions and concerns most relevant to patients, and we involve patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders, along with researchers, throughout the process,” according to the PCORI website. PCORI was created as part of the Affordable Care Act as a private, not-for-profit corporation financed by tax dollars.

October 14, 2015

On November 20, 2015, Duke Medicine and the NC Taskforce will host the Carolinas COPD Symposium at the Cone Center on the UNC Charlotte campus. The daylong Symposium will unify healthcare providers, public health practitioners, and COPD patients with the objective of enhancing knowledge around evidence-based medicine and best practices in Carolinian healthcare settings. Participants will share the latest findings around COPD care while networking with nationally recognized experts and learning about initiatives in the region's health systems. This CME accredited event will include topics regarding the economics of COPD, the COPD Foundation’s new research network, oxygen therapy, state COPD plans for North and South Carolina, and more. Patients are invited to join in the conversation and will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop designed specifically to address their needs.

Please visit the Symposium site for agenda and registration information.

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