Boehringer Ingelheim launches campaign to raise public awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Your Time campaign calls for earlier action in COPD

  • WHO expects COPD to be the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030 – exceeded only by heart disease and stroke1
  • By the time most people know they have COPD, around 50% of their lung function2,3 is lost and daily life can be negatively impacted
  • Earlier, optimal management can slow the progress of COPD4 and could help patients live a better life for longer

Ingelheim, Germany, 20-11-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — Boehringer Ingelheim today announced the launch of theYour Time campaign – a worldwide call to raise public awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the importance of acting now. By diagnosing and optimally managing the disease earlier it’s still possible to make a real difference to patients’ lives. Despite the disease affecting 210 million people worldwide5 and being responsible for twice as many deaths as diabetes,6 it is little known or talked about. By the time most people know they have COPD, they will have already lost around 50% of their lung function2,3 – and urgent, optimal management is necessary. Identifying and optimally managing COPD in the early stages has the potential to slow the progression of the disease4 and may give patients the best opportunity of living a better life for longer. The Your Time campaign echoes the context of this year’s World COPD Day (18 November 2015), organised by GOLD* around the theme “It’s Not Too Late”.7

“COPD has significant physical and emotional impacts on patients. Both patients and healthcare professionals need to be alert to the early signs of COPD, when much of the damage to a patient’s lungs occurs. When COPD is first suspected, I would like to see the same sense of urgency as we give to the first signs of cancer,” said Dr. Richard Russell, consultant respiratory physician, Lymington New Forest Hospital, Hampshire and Senior Clinical Researcher, University of Oxford.

“Increasing awareness of the condition, and the need to tackle it early, is both urgent and important. Effective, early management could mean that people with COPD are more able to maintain a normal active life – such as walking upstairs without stopping, going out to socialise with family and friends or finding it easier to continue doing the things that they enjoy,” Dr Russell continued.

COPD is not only a personal challenge but also a growing challenge for public health. It is the only major cause of death where incidence is increasing and the World Health Organization (WHO) predict that by 2030 COPD will be the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide1 – exceeded only by heart diseases and stroke. In Europe, the annual costs of healthcare and lost productivity due to COPD are estimated as €48.4 billion euros.8

Find out more about the Your Time campaign at

Making Twitter #COUGH
As part of a drive to raise awareness of COPD and the importance of identifying and diagnosing the disease early, on World COPD Day 2015 Boehringer Ingelheim is aiming to make Twitter #COUGH. As the world #COUGHs the hashtag will produce a noisy spike in Tweets, simulating the sound wave of a COPD sufferer’s chronic cough – a key symptom of the disease.Look out for and share Tweets with #COUGH this World COPD Day, 18 November to raise awareness and encourage people to act now on COPD.

About COPD
COPD is a progressive, treatable but incurable lung disease. For people with COPD, lung damage causes breathlessness that makes it difficult to keep active and participate in life to the extent they would love to. This can lead to a ‘downward spiral’ of worsening symptoms and even further inactivity,9 contributing to an increased risk of disability and death.10 Optimal management to maintain patients’ quality of life has been shown to significantly reduce their likelihood of having an exacerbation (sudden worsening) of COPD symptoms, or being admitted to hospital.11,12

European COPD Coalition: Call to Action on COPD
Boehringer Ingelheim supports the European COPD Coalition’s Call to Action on COPD which seeks political impetus to put in place an EU COPD framework to improve the health and quality of life of European citizens, including persons at risk of, or affected by, COPD.To find out more and sign the petition visit

Intended audiences
This press release is issued from our Corporate Headquarters in Ingelheim, Germany and is intended to provide information about our global business. Please be aware that information relating to the approval status and labels of approved products may vary from country to country, and a country-specific press release on this topic may have been issued in the countries where we do business.

About Boehringer Ingelheim
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates globally with 146 affiliates and a total of more than 47,700 employees. The focus of the family-owned company, founded in 1885, is researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.Social responsibility is an important element of the corporate culture at Boehringer Ingelheim. This includes worldwide involvement in social projects, such as the initiative “Making more Health” and caring for the employees. Respect, equal opportunities and reconciling career and family form the foundation of the mutual cooperation. In everything it does, the company focuses on environmental protection and sustainability.In 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 13.3 billion euros. R&D expenditure corresponds to 19.9 per cent of its net sales.For more information please visit

* Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease

References1 WHO. Chronic respiratory diseases, Burden of COPD. [Last accessed October 2015]
2 Mapel DW, et al. Severity of COPD at initial spirometry-confirmed diagnosis: data from medical charts and administrative claims. Int J COPD 2011; 6: 573–81
3 Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management and Prevention of COPD. 2015.
4 Welte T, Vogelmeier C, Papi A. COPD: early diagnosis and treatment to slow disease progression. Int J Clin Pract 2015; 3: 336–49
5 WHO. Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases. Chronic Respiratory Diseases. [Last accessed October 2015]
6 WHO. The top 10 causes of death. [Last accessed October 2015]
7 Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). About WCD. [Last accessed October 2015]
8 European Lung White Book. The economic burden of lung disease. [Last accessed October 2015]
9 Reardon JZ, Lareau SC, ZuWallack R. Functional status and quality of life in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Am J Med 2006; 119(10 Suppl 1): 32-7
10 Casaburi R. Activity promotion: a paradigm shift for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease therapeutics. Am Thorac Soc 2011; 8(4): 334-7
11 Celli B, et al. Mortality in the 4-Year Trial of Tiotropium (UPLIFT) in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2009; 180(10): 948-55.
12 Wilke S et al. One year change in health status and subsequent outcomes in COPD. Thorax. 2015; 70(5): 420-5

Media contact
Dr. Kristin Jakobs
Boehringer Ingelheim

Media & PR
Binger Str. 173
55216 Ingelheim am Rhein
Phone +49/6132/77 144553
Fax +49/6132/77 6601


Comments are closed.