Today Sandoz recognizes World Asthma Day. World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) with the goal of improving asthma awareness and care around the world. This year’s theme is, “It’s time to control asthma.”
A chronic, inflammatory lung disease, asthma is currently the most common non-communicable disease amongst children worldwide. GINA estimates that there are 300 million sufferers worldwide and there may be an additional 100 million people living with asthma by 2025.
Asthma is characterized by airway obstruction which results in chest tightness, wheezing and coughing. Shockingly, it accounts for one in every 250 deaths worldwide, many of which are related to a lack of proper treatment, according to GINA. Most deaths occur in low- and lower-middle income countries, but this under-diagnosed and under-treated disease is a universal public health problem. Asthma results in 20 million lost work days every year, and direct medical costs such as hospital admissions and pharmaceuticals, are considerable.
Sandoz’s contribution to controlling the asthma burden
Sandoz strives to provide asthma medicines at affordable prices to ensure essential treatments are accessible to as many patients as possible.
The Sandoz Respiratory Center of Excellence in Rudolstadt, Germany, focuses on developing and manufacturing high-quality respiratory products.
“At Sandoz, we focus on differentiated or hard-to-make generic medicines. Respiratory products fall into this category. Our goal at the Sandoz Respiratory Center of Excellence is to develop, manufacture and make these products available to patients worldwide, at an affordable price,” said Dr. Thomas Nothegger, Sandoz Site Head at Rudolstadt. “Our aim is to address the unmet healthcare needs of patients living with respiratory conditions, like asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).”
To mark World Asthma Day, 400 employees at the Sandoz Respiratory Center of Excellence will have the opportunity to experience how important their work is for asthma sufferers. External respiratory specialists and an asthma and allergy organization will visit the Center, giving employees the chance to learn more about the conditions and people they are helping to live healthier lives.
It’s time to fight back
Although asthma cannot be cured, appropriate management can control the disease. In August 2014, for the fourth year in a row, Sandoz Belgium employees and a team of 20 asthma and cystic fibrosis patients will join 2,000 other cycling and running enthusiasts at the Climbing for Life event in France. The objective is to cycle up the ‘Col du Tourmalet’, a peak in the Pyrenees Mountains (2,115m). The event proves how much patients can achieve, in spite of their severe respiratory conditions.
As well as highlighting how asthma can be managed through exercise and a healthy lifestyle, the Climbing for Life event raises funds for respiratory clinical research and patient associations. These organizations arrange allergen- and dust-free summer camps for children with severe asthma and supply adapted equipment so that affected children and young adults can participate in sports.
This World Asthma Day, Sandoz invites you to celebrate that asthma can be controlled!