The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the British Lung Foundation (BLF) have launched a new working party comprised of a range of partners from industry, the voluntary sector, Royal College's and the NHS* tasked with producing a new national five-year prevention, diagnosis and treatment plan for lung health.

Lung disease is statistically Britain’s 3rd biggest killer, claiming 115,000 lives a year, but it also affects the lives of over 12 million people and costs the economy billions of pounds every year.

Despite good examples of care there remains much unmet need; “the big picture for people with a lung conditions just isn't good enough,” says Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation.

The Lung Disease Taskforce strives to ensure improvements in lung disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment, to offer patients world class care.

“Our ambition is to work with patients, professionals, the NHS, and the pharmaceutical industry to design and publish a new, five-year plan for lung health. Like the cancer and mental health taskforces before, this will lead to a step change in how we prevent, diagnose and treat respiratory disease,” said Dr Woods.

“Accelerating access and uptake of the latest preventative measures, diagnostic tools and personalised treatments can and will save the NHS time and money,” added Su Jones, NHS Engagement Partner at The ABPI and National Lead for Accelerating Access and Uptake.

“I’d hope that by 2022/23 we will have seen valuable steps forward in all of these areas, improving the quality of live for the millions of Britons currently suffering from respiratory conditions.”

The new Taskforce for Lung Health will begin gathering evidence in January 2018 and is scheduled to first report by late 2018.

* Members are: Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care, Association of Respiratory Nurse Specialists, Asthma UK, British Geriatrics Society, British Thoracic Society, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Primary Care, Respiratory Society, Public Health England, Respiratory Futures, Right Care, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Royal College of Anaesthetists, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Royal College of GPs, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Surgeons