Asthma research in Europe: a transformative agenda for innovation and competitiveness

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Title: Asthma research in Europe: a transformative agenda for innovation and competitiveness
Authors: Papadopoulos, NG
Androutsopoulou, A
Akdis, C
Dahlen, S-E
Djukanovic, R
Edwards, J
Garcia-Marcos, L
Johnston, SL
Kupczyk, M
Martin, TR
Myles, D
Palkonen, S
Powell, P
Riley, J
Walker, S
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Asthma is highly prevalent, often starting in infancy and persisting throughout life, and is associated with high morbidity and burden. It is a major global health challenge with growing impact, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide and at least 10% of all Europeans [1]. Furthermore, it is the most prevalent long-term condition in children [2]. Approximately 5–10% of asthma cases are so severe that current treatments do not work, and over five million people in the European Union (EU) fall into this category. People with asthma live at risk of life-threatening asthma attacks, leading to at least 500 000 hospitalisations worldwide each year [3]. A European study estimated that unscheduled care and rescue medication accounted for 47% of the total cost-per-patient in infants, 45% in children and 56% in adults [4]. This results in high socio-economic impact, estimated at more than €70 billion annually [1]. This includes the costs of direct primary and hospital healthcare (estimated to be close to €20 billion per annum), costs due to lost productivity (€14 billion) [1], and the monetised value of disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) lost (over €38 billion) [1]. Close to 1 million DALYs are lost due to asthma in Europe every year [5]. Despite the fact that the direct and indirect costs of asthma are substantial and continue to rise, asthma remains under-prioritised in the EU research agenda. Only 0.5% of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) health research budget was devoted to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (€30 million) [5]. In comparison, some 5.4 times this amount (over €163 million) was spent on cardiovascular conditions and some 20.6 times (over €618 million) on brain research. Asthma, with its high global prevalence and an associated multi-billion global market for treatments, plus its historical underfunding and the demand for new treatments and diagnostics, represents an enormous opportunity to drive substantial economic growth. This paper sets out how the EU may capitalise on this via investment in research with high commercial potential that can radically improve the EUs research agenda and public health.
Issue Date: 1-May-2017
Date of Acceptance: 11-Apr-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/56647
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1183/13993003.02294-2016
ISSN: 0903-1936
Publisher: European Respiratory Society
Journal / Book Title: European Respiratory Journal
Volume: 49
Issue: 5
Copyright Statement: © ERS 2017. This is an author-submitted, peer-reviewed version of a manuscript that has been accepted for publication in the European Respiratory Journal, prior to copy-editing, formatting and typesetting. This version of the manuscript may not be duplicated or reproduced without prior permission from the copyright owner, the European Respiratory Society. The publisher is not responsible or liable for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or in any version derived from it by any other parties. The final, copy-edited, published article, which is the version of record, is available without a subscription 18 months after the date of issue publication.
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Respiratory System
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Respiratory System
11 Medical And Health Sciences
Respiratory System
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN 1602294
Appears in Collections:National Heart and Lung Institute
Faculty of Medicine



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