New research has shown that COPD could cost the economy £1.2bn each year.
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A new economic impact model has shown that as the disease heads towards being the third biggest cause of death globally by 20201, the economic impact is significant.
The findings, presented by Education for health, highlight an urgent need to keep individuals with COPD active and contributing to society for the benefit of all.
The COPD economic model was developed to provide the first step to uncovering the size of the economic impact of COPD amongst the working age population.
According to its calculations, in the UK alone, the economic burden is £1.2billion per annum, this includes not only direct healthcare costs, but factors such as lost income tax, payment of state benefits and productivity loss due to COPD. These calculations are based on the current age of retirement - if this is increased then the economic impact will also rise.
Speaking at COPD7, an International Conference on COPD, Education for Health’s chief executive, Monica Fletcher said: “Studies have already shown that COPD has a devastating impact on quality of life, however, we now have a tool to enable us to determine the financial implications of this debilitating disease.
“These figures further demonstrate that early diagnosis and management of COPD may enable patients to maintain active and productive lives for longer, thereby helping to reduce the economic burden of the condition and improve patient quality of life”.