More than 200 million people suffer from COPD and more than 3 million people die from COPD every year, making it the 4th leading cause of death worldwide.
At the same time, COPD is associated with significant economic burdens. In the EU direct annual costs of COPD are estimated to be about €39 billion, and in the US direct and indirect costs are estimated at $52 billion.
In developing countries, lack of long-term supportive care services for disabled COPD patients often force family members to stay home to care for their disabled relative. Since human capital is an important national asset for developing countries, the indirect costs of COPD thus represent a serious threat to the economy.
Issues and uncertainties related to diagnosis, and monitoring of COPD result in inefficiencies in condition management, and make it very challenging to control costs.