COPD

Research and development (R&D) activities in an era of globalization encounter a mosaic of providers, products, services, and intermediaries; regulatory and other government institutions; and consumers. Within the next 10 years, new product introductions within the United States and Western Europe in particular must navigate through a labyrinth of payers and purchasers, address the realities of transparent pricing and rule-driven business practices, and provide research and data as a differentiator of sales and marketing initiatives.

In the United States, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), characterized by airflow limitation that is not fully reversible, is the fourth leading cause of death, after heart disease, cancer, and cerebrovascular disease.1,2 An estimated 12 million Americans are currently diagnosed with COPD, but at least an equal number of people are believed to have the disease and have not been diagnosed.3 More than 90% of cases of COPD are caused by smoking,2 and therefore smoking cessation is a crucial strategy in the effort to reduce the incidence of COPD.

In this interview, Dr Tinkelman discusses the clinical approach to the diagnosis and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the effects of this airways disease on employees and employers. He stresses that smoking, much more than occupational exposure, causes this chronic and irreversible lung disease. Progressive loss of lung function reduces productivity in workers whose jobs require physical exertion. A significant number of employees with this disease become disabled.

Healthcare costs, disability, and lost productivity from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are of vital relevance to business management. In this interview conducted by Dr Vogenberg, Dr Bunn discusses the economic burden of chronic pulmonary disease on employers, and why proper management of employees with this progressive condition can save significant costs to the company, while also improving productivity.


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