Boehringer Ingelheim Makes Twitter #COUGH for World COPD Day

  • Boehringer Ingelheim campaigns to raise awareness of chronic
    obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on World COPD Day
  • The campaign is designed to create a surge in the use of the hashtag
    #COUGH on Twitter, producing a graph mimicking the sound wave of a
    COPD sufferer’s cough
  • By 2030, COPD will be the third leading cause of death worldwide1
  • It is estimated 3 million people are currently living with COPD in the
    UK, yet approximately only 900,000 are diagnosed2

BRACKNELL, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)–For UK media only

Today, on World COPD Day 2015, Boehringer Ingelheim is making Twitter
#COUGH to raise awareness of this chronic lung disease.

As the world #COUGHs to raise awareness of COPD (chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease), the hashtag will produce a noisy spike in tweets,
simulating the sound wave of a COPD sufferer’s chronic cough – a key
symptom of the disease.

“Boehringer Ingelheim is calling on Twitter users to help raise
awareness of COPD.” said Professor Klaus Dugi, Medical Director and
Managing Director UK & Ireland, Boehringer Ingelheim “We want to
highlight the importance of supporting people living with this
life-changing condition while also addressing and tackling the problem
of late diagnosis and misdiagnosis, which can impact life expectancy and
dramatically affect the quality of life of people affected by COPD.”

Other organisations, including the British Lung Foundation, are also
getting involved in the campaign to help raise awareness.

COPD affects an estimated 210 million people globally3 and
the World Health Organization believes it will be the third leading
cause of death worldwide by 2030.1 In the UK it is estimated
3 million people are currently living with COPD, yet approximately only
900,000 are diagnosed2.


About COPD

Evidence suggests that decline is most rapid in the initial phases of
COPD, supporting the idea that early interventions may slow the
progression of the life-threatening disease.4,5 Therefore, a
heightened awareness of COPD is key, in order to encourage the millions
of sufferers as yet undiagnosed2 to seek help as soon as
possible, providing them with the opportunity to lead a longer and
better quality of life.4,5

COPD costs the NHS more than £800 million each year6, with
each patient’s COPD management costing £2,108 per year, excluding
medications.7 Furthermore, lost productivity due to COPD has
been calculated at £3.8 billion.8

About Boehringer Ingelheim

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading
pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany,
Boehringer Ingelheim operates globally with 146 affiliates and a total
of more than 47,700 employees. The focus of the family-owned company,
founded in 1885, is researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing
new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary

Social responsibility is an important element of the corporate culture
at Boehringer Ingelheim. This includes worldwide involvement in social
projects, such as the initiative “Making more Health” and caring for the
employees. Respect, equal opportunities and reconciling career and
family form the foundation of the mutual cooperation. In everything it
does, the company focuses on environmental protection and sustainability.

In 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about
13.3 billion euros. R&D expenditure corresponds to 19.9 per cent of its
net sales.

For more information please visit


1. WHO Statistical Information System (WHOSIS). World Health Statistics.
2008. Available at:
[last accessed: November 2015]

2. Healthcare Commission (2006) Clearing the air: a national study of
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. London: Healthcare Commission.

3. World Health Organization. Global Alliance Against Chronic
Respiratory Diseases. 2008. Available at:
[last accessed: November 2015]

4. Tantucci T, Modina D. Lung function decline in COPD. International J.
COPD. 2012; 7: 95-99

5. Csikesz N G & Gartman E J. New developments in the assessment of
COPD: early diagnosis is key. International J. COPD. 2014; 9: 277–286

6. COPD care in the North West of England. Aqua Analytics. 2014.

7. Punekar Y S, et al. COPD management costs according to the
frequency of COPD exacerbations in UK primary care. Int J Chron Obstruct
Pulmon Dis. 2014; 9: 65–73.

8. An Outcomes strategy for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease COPD
and Asthma in England. NICE, 2011.



Boehringer Ingelheim Limited
Richard Pitt
Corporate Affairs
Tel: +44 (1344) 74 4757