Breathefree Yatra – Increasing Access to Respiratory Care Across India

Kolkata, 19 January 2023: Beginning the new year with a continued focus on patient care, Cipla Ltd. flagged off its patient outreach initiative – the Breathefree Yatra. This initiative focuses on helping people identify and understand their respiratory health status. This is done through increased access to channels that can aid in the screening of chronic respiratory diseases like asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Setting out on this mission, the Breathefree Yatra is planned to cover more than 300+ towns, extending support to a potential 60,000+ patients across India, over three weeks.

Early and accurate diagnosis is a crucial step in achieving better disease management. However, according to the Global Asthma Network (GAN) study up to 82% of subjects with current wheeze and up to 70% of subjects with symptoms of severe asthma remain undiagnosed. While in the case of COPD, it is estimated that 95–98% of the disease in India is undiagnosed. This stark reality can be attributed to multiple reasons, but access to appropriate medical facilities plays a leading role. Thus, underscoring the need for better patient support initiatives that help asthmatics diagnose their condition early, which in turn can help them take control of their condition and improve their quality of life.

According to Dr. Kaushik Saha, Pulmonologist, “While chronic respiratory diseases like asthma are irreversible, it is possible to gain control over the condition and lead a normal life through early diagnosis and timely medical intervention[4]. However, many a time, patients in smaller towns rarely have access to adequate medical support or are simply just unaware of the symptoms associated with conditions like asthma. Add to it, the social stigma associated with the disease that still poses as a deterrent to even seeking a diagnosis or treatment – and the need for awareness becomes more apparent. Therefore, initiatives like the Breathefree Yatra are important programs that bring medical assistance through screenings and doctor consultations to the patient. This puts them on a path to better understanding their condition, making a real difference in their lives.”

Guided by our purpose of ‘Caring for Life’, patients have always been at the heart of everything we do. The Breathefree program is a perfect example of how the company has driven this intention into action. One of the most comprehensive patient support initiatives, Breathefree covers the complete patient care journey in the areas of screening, counselling, and treatment adherence. The program has grown into a vast network of dedicated educators, benefitting patients across the country, through various initiatives, which include outreach programs like the Breathefree Yatra. In fact, taking this purpose further, the Breathefree program has gone on to extend its presence digitally with India’s 1st digital educator for inhalation device training i.e., the Breathefree Digital Educator. Delivering support ranging from correct device technique, device maintenance to counselling on the dos and don’ts of inhaler usage in seven languages, this platform adds yet another layer of care and assistance to asthmatics across the country, enabling better patient outcomes.

Disclaimer: This information is only for general awareness and is not to promote, use, or endorse any product or encourage use of medicines in any way nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor for diagnosis or treatment/ cure of any medical condition. The views expressed are independent opinion based on studies from authentic sources. Your discretion may be exercised before using the information for consulting doctor. Please consult your doctor/ Registered Medical Practitioner before starting any treatment/medicine/ inhaler. This is being used only as a reference to create awareness and is NOT intended towards advertisement.

About Cipla:
Established in 1935, Cipla is a global pharmaceutical company focused on agile and sustainable growth, complex generics, and deepening portfolio in our home markets of India, South Africa, North America, and key regulated and emerging markets. Our strengths in the respiratory, anti-retroviral, urology, cardiology, anti-infective and CNS segments are well-known. Our 47 manufacturing sites around the world produce 50+ dosage forms and 1,500+ products using cutting-edge technology platforms to cater to our 86 markets. Cipla is the 3rd largest in pharma in India (IQVIA MAT November’22), 3rd largest in the pharma private market in South Africa (IQVIA MAT November’22) and is among the most dispensed generic players in the U.S. For over eight decades, making a difference to patients has inspired every aspect of Cipla’s work. Our paradigm-changing offer of a triple anti-retroviral therapy in HIV/AIDS at less than a dollar a day in Africa in 2001 is widely acknowledged as having contributed to bringing inclusiveness, accessibility, and affordability to the centre of the HIV movement. A responsible corporate citizen, Cipla’s humanitarian approach to healthcare in pursuit of its purpose of “Caring for Life” and deep-rooted community links wherever it is present make it a partner of choice to global health bodies, peers, and all stakeholders.

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