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On the 6th to the 9th of October this year the thirteenth European Health Forum took place at Gastein, Austria. It is perhaps the biggest annual conference on EU public health policy. EFA welcomes the fact that for the first time, respiratory diseases had a dedicated session entitled “Chronic respiratory disease: a neglected epidemic”. EU policy-makers called for urgent action to halt the growing epidemic of chronic respiratory diseases. The session highlighted extent the problem of respiratory illness in Europe, as well as the lack of awareness on the issue that exists and the secondary problems it engenders; two thirds of people with COPD remain undiagnosed, and inequalities in treatment persist. Speaking at the session, EFA President Marianella Salapatas said “earlier identification and treatment leads to a greater likelihood of limiting the impact of COPD, protecting the quality of life and life expectancy of those affected. We need co-ordinated public awareness campaigns and the creation of screening guidelines and mandates for early diagnosis and management of the disease.See the press release