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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Asthma and COPD

The respiratory drug market is primarily dominated by two indications: asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although these two diseases are mostly treated with the same drugs, they differ significantly in their underlying aetiology. Both are characterised by chronic lung inflammation; however, patients with asthma suffer from a largely reversible airflow obstruction (mediated by eosinophils), while patients with COPD experience a continuous decline in lung function as their disease progresses (mediated by neutrophils).

Nevertheless, a strict separation between these two diseases is becoming increasingly blurred as there is, for example, evidence that some asthma patients suffer from neutrophillic-driven inflammation. These findings illustrate the fact that both asthma and COPD are increasingly seen as heterogeneous diseases consisting of several different phenotypes.

It is estimated that there are about 45 million asthma patients in the seven major markets – the US, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – with a stabilising prevalence. Additionally, diagnosis rates are relatively high at about...

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Lisette Oversteegen joined Datamonitor in October 2005 and has since focused on the field of infectious and respiratory diseases, including HIV, respiratory syncytial virus, asthma, COPD, allergic rhinitis and cystic fibrosis. She is now a Senior Analyst in the infectious diseases and respiratory team, and authors market analyses in other fields as well. Prior to Datamonitor, Lisette completed a Master’s in Public Health at Maastricht University, The Netherlands, specialising in work and health, and a BA in Occupational Therapy at Amsterdam University, The Netherlands.
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Lisette Oversteegen
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