Statement from the COPD Foundation in Response to Philip Morris International’s Acquisition of Respiratory Health Companies
The Foundation opposes tobacco company ownership of pharmaceutical or health care companies
Miami, FL, November 19, 2021 – Philip Morris International (PMI), which markets cigarettes internationally, recently purchased several respiratory health/pharmaceutical companies, including Vectura Group PLC. Vectura manufactures inhalers widely used by patients with COPD and other chronic lung conditions.
The COPD Foundation is unwavering in its opinion that a company that profits from the sale of products that cause COPD should not benefit from the sale of products that treat COPD. It stretches the boundaries of corporate morality.
The COPD Foundation is a patient-centered organization committed to preventing COPD, bronchiectasis, and nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease and seeking cures while improving lives and advocating for all affected.
The Foundation’s Community Engagement Committee, Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, board of directors, and the Foundation president, stand with the US COPD Coalition and other public health, medical, and patient advocacy organizations in opposition to the manufacture, advertising, and marketing of all addictive and harmful tobacco products.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco kills over 8 million people each year. It accounts for 150,000 deaths per year in the United States and over 3 million deaths globally as the third leading cause of death worldwide.
The Foundation remains committed to its position against the use and marketing of addictive and harmful tobacco and nicotine products associated with the death of millions of people worldwide. As a result, we will not take financial support from any tobacco company.
We support the following principles:
- We will continue to always put patients first.
- We will help patients find treatments that work best for them, absent of external pressure.
- We will not accept funds from tobacco companies.
- We will continue to oppose the involvement of tobacco companies in health care.
- We will urge the pharmaceutical industry to develop a tobacco company-free supply chain.
- We will increase awareness about tobacco companies’ efforts to enter the health care sector.
In partnership with other global patient advocacy organizations, the Foundation will convene a large-scale international survey of patients with chronic lung conditions in early 2022. The goal of the survey is to understand and include patients’ opinions about the Foundation’s response to tobacco companies’ involvement in health care.
About the COPD Foundation
The COPD Foundation is a not-for-profit patient-centered organization committed to preventing COPD, bronchiectasis, and nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease and seeking cures while improving lives and advocating for all affected. We do this through scientific research, education, advocacy, and awareness. The COPD Foundation leadership and Medical and Scientific Advisory Committe (MASAC) include representatives of the lung community, clinical science, genetics, and the social sciences (bioethics, economics, and/or law). The COPD360 Community Engagement Committee (COPD360CEnCo) provides the voice of patients and caregivers in the Foundation’s efforts and supports interactions with other health care and advocacy organizations.
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