COPD National Action Plan Announced at American Thoracic Society Meeting

COPD National Action Plan 

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It affects 16 million Americans, while millions more have not been diagnosed. COPD can limit a person’s ability to breathe and dramatically reduce quality of life.

James P. Kiley, Ph. D., Director of the Division of Lung Disease at the National Institute of Health

On May 22, 2017, at the International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in Washington, DC, Dr. James Kiley announced the COPD National Action Plan by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (part of the National Institute of Health). The COPD National Action Plan is the first-ever blueprint for a unified fight against the disease. It was developed at the request of Congress and provides a comprehensive framework for action by those affected by COPD and those who care about reducing its burden.
promo of COPD National Action Plan

Announcement of COPD National Action Plan

The plan calls on healthcare providers to standardize existing training, clinical care tools, and policies and incorporate them into national standards of care guidelines. COPD National Action Plan Goals include
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Empower people with COPD, their families, and caregivers to recognize and reduce the burden of COPD.
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Improve the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and management of COPD by improving the quality of care delivered across the health care continuum.
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Collect, analyze, report, and disseminate COPD-related public health data that drive change and track progress.
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Increase and sustain research to better understand the prevention, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and management of COPD.
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Translate national policy, educational, and program recommendations into research and public health care actions.
“COPD is the third leading cause of death in this country. It is right behind heart disease and cancer,” Dr. Kiley said, adding that unlike those diseases, COPD prevalence and deaths continue to rise. Harold P. Wimmer, national president of the American Lung Association, said the action plan should be viewed as an opportunity to improve prevention, detection, treatment and management of COPD. My Comments: A COPD National Action Plan is long overdue. Hopefully, this plan developed by the National Institute of Health, supported by federal taxes, will promote better care of patients with COPD throughout the country, particularly by primary care professionals. This plan should increase attention to the disease so that everyone will know what the letters – COPD – mean. Although new medications are expensive, pharmaceutical companies have invested in research programs to develop new and better treatments which I have highlighted in postings on this website. 

Donald A. Mahler, M.D. is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire. He works as a pulmonary physician at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, NH, where he is Director of Respiratory Services.