The true cost of lung conditions

New analysis conducted in partnership with PwC reveals the impact of lung conditions on the UK economy. 

Lung conditions cost the UK economy a staggering £188 billion a year. 

Our latest analysis, conducted in partnership with PwC, shows the cost of poor lung health to the UK economy in 2019. This massive figure can be broken down into: 

£9.6 billion direct costs to the NHS 

Attributed to GP visits and hospital admissions as part of the treatment and care people with lung conditions desperately need. 

£4.2 billion indirect costs 

Associated with lost productivity from people requiring time off work, for their own health or to care for a loved one. 

£174.4 billion wider societal costs

Representing the monetary value of people's suffering, including excess death and ill health caused by lung conditions.

Tripling investment in research and innovation to boost the UK economy

We're calling for public investment to triple from £47 million to £141 million per year over the next five years. This increase in investment for research and innovation could contribute £851 million to the economy in by 2030.

Transforming lung health 

We've worked closely with funders, politicians, charities, academics, the pharmaceutical industry and tech companies to understand how best to transform health outcomes for people living with lung conditions, while also accelerating UK economic growth. Increased collaborations all contribute towards the UK’s Life Sciences Vision, published during the pandemic, to position the UK at the very forefront of research and innovation. 

Despite its enormous burden, today lung research and innovation receives only 2% of public investment. 

Examples of where increased investment could make a difference:

The AsthmaHub app used in Wales allows people with lung conditions to better manage their symptoms and health. Over two years, app users had 36% fewer GP visits and 19% fewer A&E visits. Improved self-management of lung conditions leads to improved quality of life and fewer interactions with the NHS, reducing healtcare costs.

Clinical trials are needed to develop new treatments and self-management tools for people living with lung conditions. However, clinical research into lung conditions is low. Increased support for the UK's clinical research sector could bring about huge savings to the NHS, as well as increased revenue of £150 million and increased productivity gains of £137 million due to improved health by 2030. 

It's crucial to maximise the funding lung research and innovation does receive, and clinical trials are expensive. By removing the control cohort in trials (the test arm of patients that do not receive the new intervention being tested) and replacing their data with AI generated synthetic data, their costs associated with recruitment and processing could potentially save £74 million per year. 

 Tripling public investment into research and innovation for lung conditions has the potential to; change and save lives, reduce the impact on the NHS, and boost the UK economy.  Find out more in the full report below. 

Investing in breath:

Reducing the economic cost of lung conditions through increased research and innovation