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23 July 2010

The European Respiratory Society (ERS), the European Lung Foundation (ELF), the European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP), the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), the International COPD Coalition (ICC) and the International Primary Care Respiratory Group (ICPRG) supported the Call to Action. In addition, it was signed by MEPs Catherine Stihler and Claude Moraes, and many participants of the event from European and national health organisations also gave their personal support to this call.

In a joint press release, many of the signatory organisations stated their concerns about COPD and highlighted the need for urgent political action.  Professor Siafakas (ERS President), emphasized on the need to improve patient care and for more research, Professor Kai-Hakon Carlsen (ELF Chair) called for actions to raise awareness of the public on this under-recognised disease, Anne Stauffer (HEAL Policy Officer) called for the EU to step up its effort to ensure better air quality, and Larry Grouse (ICC Executive Director) welcomed the call to action as an important part of global effort to make COPD a political priority.

EFA and the signatories of the 7 point Call-to-action urge

1. the EU to make COPD a political priority,

2. to raise awareness of this disease among the public and healthcare professionals,

3. to encourage its early diagnosis,

4. to improve the care and

5. prevention of COPD,

6. improve air quality indoors and out, and

7. to support research.