Boehringer Ingelheim Starts New Campaign: ‘Why wait in IPF?’
On Rare Disease Day, 28 February, Boehringer Ingelheim emphasises the question: ‘Why wait in IPF?´ while awareness activities are focussing on highlighting the benefits of early diagnosis and considering early treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). IPF is a rare, debilitating and fatal lung disease which affects approximately 3 million people worldwide.2
Diagnosing IPF can be difficult because typically, patients with IPF present with nonspecific symptoms usually attributed to ageing, deconditioning or other comorbidities.2 The median time from first symptoms to diagnosis is around two years.3 Early and accurate diagnosis of IPF is important, as interventions such as antifibrotic therapies, supplemental oxygen treatment, cough management and pulmonary rehabilitation may help patients to better manage their condition.
In IPF a key concern is that many patients who are diagnosed with the disease remain untreated. In 2016, 290 respiratory physicians from five European countries participated in an online survey about IPF treatment in patients under their care. The survey showed that, of patients with a confirmed diagnosis, 40% did not receive treatment.1
IPF is unpredictable and damage is permanent.2 Without appropriate medical intervention the opportunity to slow disease progression is lost. “Slowing disease progression and preserving lung function by reducing decline should be the primary goal for all physicians when treating individuals with IPF. For this reason, initiation of treatment at diagnosis is vital”, commented Professor Toby Maher, Royal Brompton Hospital, UK.
While a cure for IPF has not been found yet, two approved antifibrotic drugs shown to slow disease progression in IPF are recommended for the majority of patients by international guidelines.4 At the time of diagnosis, IPF patients should feel empowered to take an active approach to managing their disease by learning all they can about it, and discussing with their treating physicians what treatment options and approaches are available.
New resources released for Rare Disease Day can be found at Boehringer-Ingelheim.com.
~ ENDS ~
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