COPD National Action Plan

More than 10 million Americans have diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and another 10 million are living with undiagnosed COPD, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In response to this growing number and to help fight the impact of the disease, the ATS has developed recommendations for a COPD National Action Plan.

Those recommendations were detailed in a May 6 letter to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which is leading a National Institutes of Health effort to develop the Action Plan.

In its letter, the ATS outlined four goals, with recommendations for each goal.

Preventing COPD: The ATS supports effective regulation of all tobacco products. Regulation should include state and federal excise taxes, FDA regulation of all tobacco products, smoke-free public spaces, prevention of youth access to points-of-sale, bans on candy flavoring and tobacco mechanizing, limits on tobacco advertising, and effective public education campaigns.

Increasing COPD Recognition: COPD-related questions should remain part of public health surveillance tools for collecting data to better understand the effects of the disease in the U.S. Additional objective assessments of spirometry as part of primary care procedures should be evaluated and considered, and biannual or triannual federal reports should be issued.

Increasing COPD Detection: A national workshop should be presented to explore opportunities for early COPD detection from low-dose spiral CT scans for lung cancer.

Improving COPD Care: The ATS itemized these five steps for raising the effectiveness of COPD care.

  • Expand clinical trials on the proper role of pulmonary rehabilitation in the treatment of COPD.
  • Expand education of patients and caregivers to optimize self-management of COPD and develop monitoring tools.
  • Collect better information on the patient experience in ordering, delivery, and use of supplemental oxygen services.
  • Develop quality measures for all aspects of COPD to reduce gaps in treatment.
  • Explore the links between COPD and sleep health.

The plan is expected to be released for public comment in the near future. For updates visit the advocacy pages of the ATS website.

Return to index page.