COPD 2015 Treatments by the Numbers

A large part of managing COPD includes working with doctors and/or specialists to create an individualized plan for COPD treatment. Because there is a wide range of treatments and management approaches in COPD, individual experiences can vary significantly. See how well the below statistics resonate with your experience!

65% of those surveyed
Began treatment immediately upon their COPD diagnosis. 10% waited more than 6 months and 8% at the time of data collection were not receiving treatment.

The average number of treatments individuals have tried for treating their COPD. Inhalers were the most common, with 80% trying rescue inhalers and 78% trying maintenance inhalers. Inhaled steroids were tried by 74%, while nebulized mediation treatments by 70%. Other treatments tried include quitting smoking (56%) and antibiotics (53%). Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation and surgery endured by very few individuals (5% and 4% respectively).

36% of those surveyed
Currently use both a rescue inhaler and a maintenance inhaler. Overall, 72% of those surveyed currently use a maintenance inhaler and 70% a rescue inhaler.

The average number of treatments currently used by those surveyed. Additional treatments commonly employed are inhaled steroids (55%), nebulized mediation treatments (53%), quitting smoking (45%) and allergy medications (30%), however very few use allergy shots (2%).

41% of those surveyed
Are utilizing oxygen therapy daily as part of their COPD treatment regimen.

Over ½
Of individuals surveyed have been using their current COPD treatment plan for at least 2 years (59%); 31% for more than 5 years.

Only ½
Of those surveyed were satisfied with their current COPD treatment plan (52%) and 11% were dissatisfied; the remaining 37% were neutral. Higher levels of satisfaction were seen among those who had been using their treatment plan less than a year.

Almost 1 in 3
Of those surveyed indicated that they were likely to change their COPD treatment plans within the coming year.

Over 40% of those surveyed
Would switch to a generic prescription medication if it became available. Only 3% indicated they would request to stay on the branded product and 6% were already using the generic form.

At least $500
Is spent each year out of pocket by over half of individuals for COPD treatments (55%), and 5% have spent more than $5,000. Cost is a factor in treatment selection and usage, with 42% having avoided using a medicine because of cost. Similarly, 41% of individuals cited that COPD had a financial impact on their life.

The average number of complementary or alternative therapies tried for COPD, by 58% of individuals surveyed. Breathing exercises were the most commonly tried (71%), followed by exercise (55%) and vitamins and supplements (33%).

Only 4% of those surveyed
Were aware of new medications which may be coming out soon to treat COPD.

Because treatment and management plans for COPD can vary greatly from one person to another, it can be helpful to hear about the experiences of other people. When it comes to prescription medication, breathing strategies, supplements, quitting smoking, overall treatment regimens, and more, sometimes the most helpful people to speak to are those who are going through similar experiences with COPD treatment.