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One in four COPD patients gets no treatment at first diagnosis, study shows

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1252 (Published 02 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1252
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

More than a quarter of patients have no drug treatment prescribed for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the first year of diagnosis despite having symptoms and poor lung function, an analysis of UK general practice data has shown.1

Guidelines for COPD management are generally based on evidence from clinical trials carried out in secondary care, but most patients are managed in primary care. Researchers wanted to know how GPs’ prescribing for patients with COPD compares with guideline recommendations and how this has changed over time.

The research group analysed data on 20 154 patients with …

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