IPF WORLD WEEK: TOGETHER TO BREAK THE ISOLATION CREATED BY A DEVASTATING DISEASE
Brussels, Belgium, [19 September 2016] - For the first time since its establishment in July 2016, the European Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis & Related Disorders Federation (EU-IPFF) and its member associations are celebrating IPF World Week together. Each year, during one week, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) patient associations across the world join together to drive action for greater awareness of IPF, call for better access to care, and bring hope to those living with the disease.
This year, IPF World Week occurs from 17 to 25 September, immediately following the formal adoption of the Written Declaration on IPF by the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The Written Declaration aims to promote better cooperation between Member States to address existing health inequalities and promote research activities to find its cause and a cure. It encourages the European Commission and EU Member States to work together to support timely access to treatment, to limit the delays in approval by national regulators of authorized medication, and to address the existing inequalities in access to lung transplantation. Following its adoption, the Declaration is forwarded to the European Commission and the European Council for a response to its requests.
To achieve the adoption of the Declaration and to increase awareness and raise the profile of IPF at a political level, EU-IPFF has been working together with various Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). “We have worked hard on the Written Declaration and thank Elena Gentile, who spearheaded the declaration with us. We are very grateful to all MEPs who signed the Written Declaration on IPF and listened to our personal testimonials. We hope to get positive feedback from the European Commission and European Council in order to provide hope for the diagnosed and newly diagnosed IPF patients in Europe” said Carlos Lines Millán, President of EU-IPFF.
Elena Gentile, an Italian MEP acknowledged the importance of the Written Declaration. “Despite IPF being a rare disease, it is a disease that cannot be forgotten and patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals and politicians alike need to cooperate together to raise IPF’s profile. The Written Declaration is crucial to initiate a European wide discussion and it’s the stepping-stone of a productive political path for EU-IPFF.”
Following the initial success of the adopted Written Declaration on IPF, EU-IPFF invites all IPF patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, politicians and the community at large to celebrate IPF World Week and join the federation in pushing forward the demands made in the Declaration.
About the European Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis & Related Disorders Federation (EU-IPFF)
EU-IPFF is a European federation of currently 11 national patient associations active in the field of IPF and related disorders. Its mission is twofold: on the one hand, the federation aims to serve as a trusted resource for the IPF community by raising awareness, providing disease education, advancing care, and supporting research for IPF. On the other hand, it defends the interests of IPF patients at European level, by fighting for equal access to treatment and information and ensuring exchange of information between national patient groups. To this end, EU-IPFF collaborates with physicians, medical organisations, people with IPF and their families, caregivers and policy-makers throughout Europe.
About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive, irreversible chronic disease of the lungs. In persons with this disease, the lung tissue, which is normally thin and pliable, becomes thick and scarred over time - this is called fibrosis. The disease is associated with a progressive decline in lung function as the scar tissue prevents oxygen from properly moving into the bloodstream. As a result, the brain and other organs do not receive enough oxygen, which leads to initial symptoms such as shortness of breath and chronic cough and can lead to respiratory failure and death.8 There is no known cause for this fibrosis, meaning that it is categorised as ‘idiopathic’. There are currently between 80,000 and 111,000 people living with IPF in Europe and approximately 30,000-35,000 new patients will be diagnosed with IPF in the EU each year,,,,. Presently, there are two EMA-approved treatments for IPF in Europe; however, IPF has no cure so far. Difficulty in diagnosis and rapid deterioration in some patients means that many people live only about 2 to 5 years after diagnosis.
The EU-IPFF is supported by Boehringer Ingelheim and Roche through a sponsorship or an unrestricted grant respectively.
For media inquiries please contact:
Liam Galvin, Secretary of the European Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Association (EU-IPFF)