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COPD Foundation Supports Proposed Ban on Menthol Cigarettes

April 29, 2021

April 29, 2021, Washington, DC — The COPD Foundation applauds the Biden administration and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on their announcement today to begin the process of banning menthol cigarettes and cigars.

The COPD Foundation joins 80 other national organizations in the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids coalition in supporting this much-needed action to save lives, reduce youth tobacco addiction and diminish health disparities. Smoking is the leading cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) along with heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke and is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

"This is a historic moment for all of us who work daily to improve the lives of individuals whose health has been critically impacted by the harms of smoking," said Ruth Tal-Singer, President and Chief Scientific Officer of the COPD Foundation. "Menthol is the last remaining 'flavoring' for cigarettes—banning it is a tremendous step towards decreasing the appeal of smoking. Millions of Americans would have been spared the devastating health effects of smoking if menthol cigarettes had never been allowed to exist. Sadly, we cannot rewrite history, but we can support this momentous, bold measure and ensure that more individuals are not ‘recruited’ to smoking by the deceptive, masking properties of menthol and many current smokers are incentivized to quit."

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In Gratitude to Barbara Yawn, MD, MSc Upon Her Retirement from the COPD Foundation

April 28, 2021

Miami, FL April 28, 2021. The COPD Foundation sincerely thanks Barbara Yawn, MD, MSc, for her many years of service to the Foundation, where she has made a lasting impact.

Dr. Yawn has been involved with the Foundation since its inception through her contributions to the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee (MASAC) and has also worked directly within the Foundation on several key initiatives over the past several years.

As a primary care physician and researcher, Dr. Yawn has provided a unique and critical perspective to the Foundation’s work. During her time with the Foundation, she has championed the inclusion of people with COPD and their caregivers in all aspects of the Foundation’s work and especially in their role as active participants of clinical research teams. Dr. Yawn has grown the COPD Foundation’s Patient-Powered Research Network and served as the principal investigator on several critical studies showcasing the power of the network. In addition, she has advanced the COPD Foundation’s educational efforts including translating research results into understandable language for our patient and caregiver communities.

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Dr. MeiLan Han elected to the COPD Foundation Board of Directors

April 19, 2021

Miami, FL– April 19, 2021 The COPD Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on improving the lives of those affected by and stopping the progression of COPD and related lung conditions, has announced the election of Dr. MeiLan Han to its Board of Directors.

"We are delighted to welcome MeiLan to our Board," noted COPD Foundation Board Chair Dr. James D. Crapo. "MeiLan is a longtime researcher and advocate for lung health, and joins a team of supporters that includes noted practitioners who lend their expertise to our mission. We are so appreciative that she will join our team of community leaders committed to improving the lives of patients and caregivers."

MeiLan Han, MD MS, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of Michigan. Dr. Han received her medical degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Michigan. Dr. Han has also completed a Master's Degree program in Biostatistics and Clinical Study Design at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

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Pulmonary Rehabilitation - Live Better and Live Longer: a message from 19 Respiratory Organizations

April 07, 2021

Miami, FL April 7, 2021 - Over 16 million people in the United States have COPD1 and up to 60% of COPD cases go undiagnosed.2 According to the World Health Organization, COPD is the third leading cause of death globally.3 COPD continues to be a leading cause of disabling symptoms and suffering. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is the standard of care for persons with COPD and is associated with improved physical function, symptoms, mood and quality of life. Although PR is well established as a highly effective treatment for COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases,4,5 in the United States only 3%–4% of Medicare beneficiaries with COPD receive PR.6 Similarly, low estimates exist for the rest of the world.7

A recent study by Peter Lindenauer and colleagues found that, in persons hospitalized due to acute exacerbation of COPD, PR within 3 months of discharge versus later or no PR, was associated with a highly significant lower risk of mortality at 1 year (hazard ratio, 0.63; i.e., a 37% lower risk of death over the year following discharge).8 The study utilized claims data of 197,376 Medicare beneficiaries discharged after hospitalization for COPD.8 The findings support PR as a high priority following hospitalization for COPD.

Patients suffering from COPD should know that PR not only has potential for helping them feel better and be more independent, but also live longer. We are asking for your support in communicating these important findings of improved survival after PR to providers and patients. Thank you in advance for your help and collaboration.

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COPD Foundation and DevPro Biopharma Join Forces to Develop Treatments for People with COPD and Related Lung Conditions

March 23, 2021

DEVPRO Biopharma | Clinical Research & Development Accelerator
COPD Foundation

Miami, FL, and Basking Ridge, NJ March 23, 2021: The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Foundation and DevPro Biopharma LLC, a clinical research and development company, announced that the two organizations have entered into a strategic alliance to develop more effective treatments for people with chronic lung conditions and get them to patients sooner.

The partnership aims to identify potential therapies for COPD and related lung conditions and to accelerate their development and regulatory approval. This alliance leverages DevPro Biopharma’s expertise in the design and implementation of expedient clinical programs and the COPD Foundation’s diverse patient and caregiver community and its network of COPD360Net experts.

"The COPD Foundation is home to many of the world’s leading experts in chronic lung conditions. Now, through their new COPD360Net initiative, they are poised to become leaders in the development of new therapeutics," explained Colin Reisner, MD, DevPro Biopharma's co-founder and CEO. "By joining forces, DevPro Biopharma will direct its expertise to the development of clinical programs to be conducted within the COPD Foundation’s network. We are confident that through this alliance we will have a meaningful impact on patient communities worldwide."

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Holy Cross Health and COPD Foundation Establish Respiratory Navigator and Peer Coach Partnership for People with COPD and Related Lung Conditions

January 21, 2021

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Holy Cross Health and the COPD Foundation are pleased to announce the establishment of the Respiratory Navigator and Peer Coach Partnership. Funded by Mr. Herb Yardley, the partnership will launch a pilot program designed for individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and related lung conditions who are hospitalized for exacerbations (flare ups). The program aims to assist patients in the post-acute phase and support their self-management at home.

COPD is a debilitating respiratory condition affecting more than 30 million Americans and 1 million individuals living in Florida. COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the US and a leading cause of disability. Although COPD is mostly a preventable and manageable chronic condition, low public awareness of the condition and its symptoms often leaves those newly diagnosed unsure how to best manage their care.

Recognizing these challenges, the collaboration between the COPD Foundation and Holy Cross Health has been built to leverage both partners’ resources and strengths. The COPD Foundation focuses on empowering and engaging the COPD community by delivering hope and valuable educational resources to individuals with COPD and their families, so they can take positive steps to lead meaningful and productive lives. The existing Holy Cross Health COPD Navigator program has reduced readmission rates for individuals with COPD by almost 50% by using a dedicated team of health care professional “navigators” who follow each patient through their recovery journey.

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Green Park Collaborative and COPD Foundation Launch coreCOPD to Develop Consensus on Critical Outcomes for Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

December 23, 2020

Baltimore, MD (December 23, 2020) – The Green Park Collaborative (GPC), a major initiative of the Center for Medical Technology Policy (CMTP), is partnering with The COPD Foundation to develop a core set of outcomes to be used in late phase clinical trials of therapies for stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This initiative, coreCOPD, will engage patients, clinicians, researchers, regulators, payers, health technology assessors, product developers, and other key stakeholders in a structured consensus process to develop the core outcome set.

COPD is a condition characterized by persistent respiratory symptoms and chronic airflow limitation caused by a mixture of small airways disease and parenchymal destruction. Most widely used and accepted clinical outcomes measures in stable COPD clinical trials fail to provide a comprehensive or fully patient-relevant basis for evaluating and comparing the clinical benefit of new therapies. Researchers cannot adequately address this issue, however, because patients and other stakeholders have not yet agreed on which outcomes are most important for their decision making.

"Even in COPD, where many high-quality outcomes are used, multi-stakeholder engagement can yield valuable insights from varied perspectives on deficiencies in customary outcome selections for COPD clinical trials. This work will accelerate the consistent production of more relevant and meaningful data, benefiting healthcare and policy decision-makers and ultimately, the patients they all serve."

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COPD Foundation and Blue Marble Health enter a Strategic Partnership to Promote Virtual Pulmonary Rehabilitation to healthcare systems challenged to deliver services during COVID

November 30, 2020

COPD Foundation and Blue Marble Health Announce a Strategic Partnership to Facilitate
Virtual Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Miami, FL and Los Angeles, CA November 2020: The COPD Foundation and Blue Marble Health announced a strategic Partnership to increase availability and adherence to pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) through a unique peer supported Virtual PR Program.

Approximately 320 million people live with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and they are at 5 times greater risk for severe COVID-19 infections. PR is an exercise and education program that improves quality of life for people with COPD, while reducing hospitalization and mortality. Despite its proven effectiveness, PR is underutilized; and now with the temporary closure of 75% of PR clinics in the US due to COVID-19, even fewer people with lung disease have access to PR.

Blue Marble Health Virtual PR Platform enables clinicians to remotely develop, monitor, and track personalized PR programs at the individual and population level. The COPD Foundation’s COPD360coach platform connects patients with peer coaches who provide health coaching designed to deliver educational content and a supportive community. Our combined offering will improve access, adherence, engagement, and outcomes; and people with COPD can enjoy PR from the safety of their home.

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National Health Groups Support COPD Patients at Risk for Severe Effects from COVID-19

November 24, 2020

In honor of World COPD Day, American Lung Association, COPD Foundation offer support for COPD patients and caregivers amid pandemic

CHICAGO (November 18, 2020) – An estimated 16.4 million Americans are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – a chronic lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe – which places them at an increased risk for more severe illness from COVID-19. In honor of World COPD Day, and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Lung Association and the COPD Foundation are sharing guidance and highlighting resources and support available to those living with COPD and their caregivers.

"It’s critical that those living with COPD, as well as their caregivers, do all they can to protect their health and reduce their exposure to the virus," said COPD Foundation Chief Medical Officer Byron Thomashow, M.D. "Changes in behavior, such as wearing a face mask, will be key to all of us staying healthy and out of the hospital, especially for those living with COPD, which is already a high-risk disease for readmissions to the hospital."

Questions about COPD management in the COVID era?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified those living with COPD among those at greater risk for the most severe complications from COVID-19. To protect their health, the American Lung Association and COPD Foundation encourage patients to work with their doctor to help manage their symptoms, stay on their maintenance medications and alert their healthcare provider of any changes in their health or symptoms. The organizations also encourage those living with COPD to reduce their exposure to the virus by utilizing telehealth when available and recommended by their provider, practicing thorough handwashing and avoiding touching their face, wearing a mask, staying physically distant from others and at home, when possible.

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COPD Foundation and American College of Chest Physicians® (CHEST) release report to better understand communication about COPD exacerbations

November 16, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC (November 16, 2020)— To learn more about the experiences of individuals impacted by COPD and the health care professionals supporting them, the COPD Foundation collaborated with the American College of Chest Physicians® (CHEST) to gain valuable information on how those living with or managing COPD perceive exacerbations. Initial results from the survey suggest there are critical gaps in communication between patients with COPD and their health care professionals.

COPD exacerbations adversely impact the health and quality of life of people living with the disease. Frequent exacerbations, and especially those resulting in hospitalizations, lead to greater impairment in daily living, decreased ability to remain in the workplace, and an increased burden on family caregivers. Evidence suggests that those with frequent exacerbations experience worsening lung function, more rapid lung function decline, and are more likely to have longer hospital stays. Readmissions within 30 days of discharge and repeated exacerbations of COPD increase mortality risk in patients with COPD.

"While we as physicians believe we are communicating clearly and well, these data suggest we likely need to explore additional ways to say things in the brief time we have with patients and families. This study provides important insights," said Barbara Yawn, MD, Chief Clinical Officer at the COPD Foundation and Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Minnesota.

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COPD Foundation launches the COPD360 Community Engagement Committee

September 30, 2020

Washington, DC – September 30th, 2020: COPD Foundation launches the COPD360 Community Engagement Committee, embracing the patient and caregiver perspective is the single most effective way to achieve the Foundation’s mission

In order to amplify and diversify the patient and caregiver voice in all COPD Foundation efforts, and in concert with the recently launched Digital Health & Therapeutics Accelerator Network (COPD360Net), the COPD Foundation is delighted to announce the launch of the COPD360 Community Engagement Committee. The COPD Foundation is a not-for-profit organization focused on improving the lives of those affected by and stopping the progression of COPD and related lung conditions.

In partnership with the COPD Foundation’s health care and scientific community, the COPD360 Community Engagement Committee pledges to:

  • Gather input from the organization’s patient and caregiver community
  • Advise COPD Foundation on strategic priorities that are important to patients and their families
  • Provide input into all aspects of COPD Foundation patient engagement
  • Ensure the safety of patients is always the first priority in all COPD Foundation endeavours

Linda Walsh, Chief Community Engagement Officer said: "The COPD Foundation was patient founded and remains patient driven. The patient has always been at the center of our mission. This Committee fortifies our commitment to people with COPD and ensures their voices are heard."

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COPD Foundation launches the Digital Health and Therapeutics Accelerator Network, COPD360Net to speed innovation

September 22, 2020

Washington, DC – September 23rd, 2020: The COPD Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on improving the lives of those affected by and stopping the progression of COPD, is delighted to announce the launch of the COPD360Net initiative.

COPD360Net has been created to deliver the following:

  • Facilitate, review and expedite clinical trials
  • Enable the development and adoption of novel digital health tools and therapeutics that treat COPD
  • Prevent progression and improve lives of individuals with COPD and related chronic lung diseases at all stages of disease

The last regulatory approval of a new mechanism of action therapeutic for COPD was in 2011 and patient research has demonstrated the need for new and better treatments. COPD360Net will serve as an accelerator to speed innovation through patient-centered evidence generation and facilitation of clinical adoption.

COPD360Net consists of a network of core COPD Foundation accredited care centers, experts in the field of COPD and related lung diseases and relevant subject matter experts including primary care, health economists and psychosocial experts. It is governed by a Steering Committee that includes clinical lead expert representatives from the participating centers, as well as key content experts and patient and caregiver representation.

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