Amgen Joins International Respiratory Coalition as Founding Member

Nearly 600 million people globally live with chronic respiratory diseases like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasis as well as many rare and severe respiratory diseases.1 And each year, approximately four million premature deaths are attributed to chronic respiratory diseases.2 Prior to the pandemic, progress to improve chronic respiratory diseases care was slow, and in some countries had stagnated over the past decade.3

During the pandemic, some patients with chronic respiratory diseases that contracted COVID-19 were shown to be at greater risk of hospitalization.4,5 And patients with chronic respiratory diseases faced disruptions to healthcare services and quality care6, demonstrating that new approaches to enable patients to better control their condition, reduce hospitalizations, and ultimately to decrease pressure on healthcare systems, are needed.7

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fault lines in health systems as well as demonstrated that underlying chronic conditions have greatly contributed to lowered health in populations. During a recent symposium at the European Respiratory Society International Congress (ERS), a multi-disciplinary panel discussed our passion and bias toward action. We must seek to maximize health and outcomes in chronic diseases in particular, to ensure that individuals, and therefore populations, have the greatest possible resiliency against future health shocks.
— Garnet Howells, global product general manager at Amgen

The European Respiratory Society (ERS), the Global Allergy and Airways Patient Platform (GAAPP), AstraZeneca, Amgen and leading respiratory clinicians have launched the International Respiratory Coalition, a new partnership to transform post-pandemic respiratory healthcare. Each partner will provide funding or contributions of time and expertise to deliver the aims of the Coalition at a global or national level.

The Coalition aims to support governments and healthcare systems in their recovery from COVID-19 by strengthening respiratory care. The Coalition will seek to improve outcomes for people living with respiratory diseases by supporting the creation of ambitious national-level respiratory strategies and by building resilience in managing pandemics by implementing a multi-stakeholder, collaborative approach to working with governments.

“COVID-19 is the third respiratory-driven pandemic in just 20 years, which only deepens the urgency to prioritize respiratory diseases in health care systems across the globe,” said Susan Sweeney, senior vice president, Global Marketing, Access & Capabilities. “The statistics are staggering with 1 in 5 hospitalized COVID-19 patients requiring additional respiratory care or rehabilitation, according to early estimates. Another pandemic has the potential for catastrophic impact, so we must work together to prepare for the next health crisis.”

“While COVID-19 exposed the staggering health disparities and disproportionate burden on racial and ethnic minorities and other groups historically underserved by healthcare systems, these same communities have long felt the negative impact of respiratory disease,” said Darryl Sleep, senior vice president, Global Medical and Chief Medical Officer of Amgen. “This partnership with the International Respiratory Coalition will help Amgen in our mission to serve patients, which includes working within communities to remove the barriers that prevent patients from living their healthiest lives.”

For more information, visit the International Respiratory Coalition.


  1. GBD Chronic Respiratory Disease Collaborators. Prevalence and attributable health burden of chronic respiratory diseases, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet Respir Med, 2020 Jun;8(6):585-596.
  2. Forum of International Respiratory Societies. The Global Impact of Respiratory Disease – Second Edition. Sheffield, European Respiratory Society, 2017. Available online via Accessed July 2021.
  3. Commissions from the Lancet journals. After asthma: redefining airways diseases. After asthma: redefining airways diseases ( 12 September 2017. Available at:
  4. Gerayeli FV, et al. COPD and the risk of poor outcomes in COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis. EClinicalMedicine. 2021; 33: 100789.
  5. Huang BZ, et al. Asthma Disease Status, COPD, and COVID-19 Severity in a Large Multiethnic Population. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2021.
  6. World Health Organisation. COVID-19 and NCDs. Available at: Accessed August 2021.
  7. AstraZeneca. A Blueprint for Change. Available at: Accessed August 2021.

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