AstraZeneca supports the publication of the 2017 GOLD strategy for improving COPD diagnosis, management and prevention

9 December 2016


AstraZeneca welcomes the publication of the 2017 GOLD* strategy for improving the diagnosis, management and prevention of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

“The GOLD COPD Strategy aims to give treatment guidance to physicians treating COPD around the world and the 2017 report reflects an evolving understanding of COPD science,” said Kai Richter, Vice President Respiratory Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca. “We believe it paves the way towards a more targeted approach for COPD treatment decisions. Furthermore, it gives physicians more clarity on those patients primarily suitable for treatment with bronchodilators and those who require additional treatment to reduce exacerbation risk.  AstraZeneca is committed to an extensive scientific programme designed to inform treatments in the future, including our late-stage clinical trial programmes and the INCONTROL biomarker and phenotype science programme which includes the NOVELTY study.”

The GOLD Report emphasises the increased relevance of symptoms in the definition and management of COPD.1 The majority of COPD patients have high symptom levels and/or airflow obstruction,2 and GOLD recognises that symptoms may be under-reported.1 The updated GOLD Report also expands on the concept of improving physical activity and acknowledges the downward spiral of inactivity seen in patients with COPD1 We support the expansion of the role of dual bronchodilation with LAMA/LABAs.

The GOLD Report also reinforces the role of ICS/LABA for patients that have asthma features and/or high blood eosinophil count, and patients who show more frequent exacerbations.1 Based on the latest EMA review on ICS for COPD3 overall the benefits of inhaled corticosteroid medicines in treating COPD continue to outweigh their risks.  For the first time the GOLD Report recognises eosinophils as a potential decision-driver for COPD treatment and as a biomarker for risk of exacerbations and identifying ICS responders.1 AstraZeneca’s INCONTROL science programme is one example of the Company’s work to advance the understanding of eosinophils in COPD and the potential future role of precision therapy.1

The GOLD Report acknowledges the potential benefits of escalation to triple therapy for those patients who are still exacerbating despite a LAMA/LABA or still symptomatic on ICS/LABA.1 Over the next two years important new data from randomised controlled clinical trials on fixed-dose triple combinations will become available.

The GOLD Report now mentions PDE-4 inhibitors as an additional treatment option on top of triple therapy in patients with FEV1 <50% predicted and chronic bronchitis who still have exacerbations.1

* Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD)


Date of Preparation: December 2016
Date of expiry:  December 2017
GLOBAL ATLAS ID: 1023745.011 


About COPD
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a progressive disease associated mainly with tobacco smoking, air pollution or occupational exposure, which can cause obstruction of airflow in the lungs resulting in debilitating bouts of breathlessness.1 It affects an estimated 329 million people worldwide4 and is predicted to be the third leading cause of death by 2020.1 Improving lung function and managing daily symptoms such as breathlessness are important to the management of COPD.

About GOLD
For further information, please visit

About AstraZeneca in Respiratory Disease
Respiratory disease is one of AstraZeneca’s main therapy areas, and we have a growing portfolio of medicines that reached more than 17 million patients in 2015. Our aim is to transform asthma and COPD treatment through inhaled combinations at the core of care, biologics for the unmet needs of specific patient populations, and scientific advancements in disease modification. We are building on a 40-year heritage in respiratory disease, and our capability in inhalation technology spans both pressurised metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs) and dry powder inhalers (DPIs), as well as our unique Co-SuspensionTM Delivery Technology. Our research is focused on four key biological pathways: eosinophilic disease, Th2-driven disease, epithelial-driven pathobiology and autoimmunity.

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three main therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases and Respiratory. The Company also is selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit­ and follow us on Twitter @AstraZeneca.


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  1. Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management and Prevention of COPD, Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) 2017. Available from: Last accessed December 2016.
  2. Rennard S. et al. Impact of COPD in North America and Europe in 2000 : subjects’ perspective of Confronting COPD International Survey. Eur Respir J. 2002; 20(4):799-805.
  3. EMA completes review of inhaled corticosteroids for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Available at: Last accessed December 2016.
  4. Bereza BG, Nielsen AT, Valgardsson S et al. Patient preferences in severe COPD and asthma: a comprehensive literature review. International Journal of COPD. 2015: 10: 739–744.