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Healthy Lungs for Life

Healthy Lungs for Life is one of the largest ever lung health campaigns, raising awareness of the importance of healthy lungs to healthcare professionals, scientists, primary care, patients, policy makers and the public through a full range of events, projects and promotional activities. 

In 2014, the theme is "Breathe clean air." 

 For more information, visit the website.

World Spirometry Day 2014

Are you aware of World Spirometry Day 2014? It is no longer a single day but a period of time where you are invited to promote spirometry in your own environment.

For more information on the initiative click here. 


COPD – The Epidemic of the Working Population

Workshop 1: Prevention and diagnosis to stall a debilitating disease

29 June 2011, 15.00-18.00h, EP ASP 3F388
Hosted by the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Association (EFA) with the kind support of Mr. Seán Kelly MEP, Ms. Catherine Stihler MEP, Ms. Françoise Grossetête MEP and Ms. Eva-Britt Svensson MEP
An event endorsed by the European Respiratory Society (ERS), the European Lung Foundation (ELF) and the International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG)

A newsletter from the workshop, where Tjard Schermer represented primary care, is available here

European and International Health Organisations unite to call for European action to combat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

The IPCRG has supported this Call to Action by EFA to increase the attention paid to COPD in Europe. At the same time as this call to Action, it has launched the EFA Book on COPD, full of facts and figures about burden of disease and health care use.  Click to see the media release.


IPCRG Supports Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD)

The IPCRG is an active member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD). There is now clear acknowledgement of the global challenges in preventing and controlling chronic respiratory disease and of the central importance of primary care in achieving improvements. Our current IPCRG representative at GARD is Niels Chavannes. Click here for more information.




World COPD Day - 20 November 2013

To celebrate World COPD day on November 20th 2013 we invite you to look at 3 IPCRG resources:

 And remember, it’s not too late to submit your abstract to our 7th World conference in Athens, May 2014 – click here for details on how



The Brussels Declaration: 10 Points for Action

IPCRG lobbying in Europe: Brussels Declaration on Asthma

  • Press Release
  • Poster Summary
  • Newsletter (large file 4Mb)
  • Presentation to Committee on Health and Children
    A successful presentation by the Asthma Society of Ireland to the Oireachtas (Elected Members of Dail Eireann and Seanad Eireann) Committee on Health and Children took place on Tuesday 4th November 2008.  Click here for an example of the press coverage generated.
  • Experts urge change in asthma managementPress release on article in the December edition of the European Respiratory Journal (ERJ).
    Press release is also available in
  • Roundtable debate
    ALDE deputy Liz Lynne has launched a new initiative to help the estimated 30 million asthma sufferers in the EU. The project, called HARP, aims to provide patients with "clear and detailed" information about the disease.  Speaking in parliament in January 2009, she said, "As an asthma sufferer myself, I feel that there is a real need to make sure that information is made readily available."  The MEP chaired a roundtable debate which heard the results of a major study into asthma. It shows that 30 million people, or six per cent of the EU population, have asthma.


Lessons to address the poor state of COPD care in Europe and research in Horizon 2020

To mark World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Day 2013, the European COPD Coalition (ECC) (1), and the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA) (2) organised an event (3) under the auspices of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). The conference entitled “What role for diseases and patients in shaping Horizon 2020? A COPD case study of patient involvement” discussed the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation – Horizon 2020, and standards of care for COPD, with a patient’s perspective.

COPD (4) was taken as a case study, since this chronic lung disease is marked by increasing prevalence among the European population and isone of the leading causes of premature deaths worldwide and yet, awareness of the COPD is largely insufficient.

The degree in which Horizon 2020 – the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union: an EU initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness- is fit to accommodate disease specific research featured high during the debate. “Given the prevalence and societal and economic burden of COPD, there should absolutely be some kind of ring-fencing of funds for specific diseases such as this that has been underfunded to date. In such areas, researches would otherwise find it hard to compete with larger, more established research fields. Additionally, prevention and patient priorities have been neglected for far too long and should be moved up dramatically in the agenda,” said Mike Galsworthy, from the University College London’s Department of Applied Health Research.

“The clock is ticking when it comes to tackle the acute deficiencies in the way that COPD is treated across Europe. Patients themselves should be given a larger role in shaping research, for instance, in prompting actions – i.e. to be better integrated in EU projects – so that policy-makers and healthcare professionals do not trip over the same stone again when delivering care to patients, pointed out Isabel Saraiva, COPD patient from the Portuguese Association of people with COPD and other Chronic Respiratory Diseases (RESPIRA).

EFA’s report ‘Minimum Standards of Care for COPD Patients in Europe’ (5) was launched during the conference. “As the EFA’s paper highlights, people suffering of COPD and patients of respiratory diseases in Europe have been enduring for decades large disparities in the standards of care received. To overcome these inequalities, patient-driven standards on prevention, diagnosis, care and rehabilitation have to be better measured. There is an urgent need to use this data to drive and improve patients outcomes,“ stated Rupert Jones, General Practitioner for the International Primary Care Respiratory Group.

Over the course of the event, EFA’s booklet ‘Enabling Air Travel with Oxygen in Europe’ (6) was presented as a case study for ongoing discrimination against patients with chronic respiratory diseases.

— end—

Notes to editors

(1) The European COPD Coalition (ECC) is a not-for-profit association under Belgian law, based in Brussels, whose role is to advocate for political action to be taken at the European level to reduce the burden of the disease through collective action and campaigns, seeking the development and implementation of a comprehensive EU public health policy on COPD. ECC aims to be a key facilitator of COPD health policy initiatives at European level. The ECC works with all parties interested in fighting COPD and public health officials to boost awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and decrease the morbidity and mortality caused by this respiratory illness, through advocacy and policy development.

(2) The European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA) is a non-profit network of allergy, asthma and COPD patients organisations, representing 35 national associations in 22 countries and over 400,000 patients. EFA is dedicated to making Europe a place where people with allergies, asthma and COPD have the right to best quality of care and safe environment, live uncompromised lives and are actively involved in all decisions influencing their health.

(3) This event displayed a wide range of speakers, like Members of European Parliament, researchers, health care specialists, COPD patients. It also included a lung testing (spirometry) for free at the venue.

(4) Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the only major chronic disease whose incidence is on the increase and is expected to be the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030 (exceeded only by heart diseases and stroke). You can learn more about the incidence of COPD here.

(5) Minimum Standards of Care for COPD Patients in Europe

(6) Enabling Air Travel with Oxygen in Europe

Contact information

Catherine Hartmann, the European COPD Coalition (ECC) Secretary General at or Tel. +32 (0) 2 230 59 33

Susanna Palkonen, the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA), Executive Officer at or Tel. +32 (0) 2 227 27 12




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