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Respiratory disease: why we want to make a difference

Today too many people suffer unnecessarily because of the poor management of their asthma and COPD.

While patients benefit from advances in the way respiratory diseases are managed, we know that many still have poor control of their conditions and continue to live with the symptoms and risks associated with asthma and COPD. More work is still needed to improve the lives of all people affected by these diseases.

Behind the facts are the real people who live with asthma and COPD. These are patients like Donna, a patient with severe asthma who developed the condition as an adult, Jose, who lives with COPD, and Alison, who has had asthma since she was at university. It is people like these who drive us to generate new evidence to help physicians address unanswered questions, create tools that support patients and collaborate with patient groups who advocate on behalf of people living with respiratory diseases.

The many faces of our team...

We have been helping respiratory patients since 1969. Our research, medicines and tools have helped millions of people around the world. Across our company, we have teams working together in a wide variety of roles to make a difference in the lives of people with respiratory diseases. Here are the stories from four people at GSK whose work contributes to our goal of helping people with asthma and COPD live the lives they want.

Katherine, Research Scientist working on the next generation of asthma treatments

I had asthma as a child so know first-hand what it is like to live with the condition. This is one of the reasons that being part of a team that is advancing the science in the field of respiratory treatment is important to me.

My work involves using the latest engineering technologies to develop treatments that we hope will help patients to better control their disease. To think that the work I’m doing in the lab today will hopefully benefit patients in the years to come is very fulfilling.


Simona, Respiratory Brand Director

The patient is at the core of everything we do. In my role, I undertake many projects to ensure we fully understand all aspects of a patient’s condition.

Talking to patients about their condition and how they fit their medication into their daily lives is one of the most important things I do.

For me there is also a more personal connection as my best friend has asthma. I have seen first-hand how it affects her, from the anxiety she experiences when she’s having a bad day and her symptoms are troubling her, to having to plan alternative activities when she’s unable to do the things I often take for granted. But importantly, I have also seen over the years how she has been able to manage her asthma through effective medication and increased knowledge about the disease.

This year we are going on a walking holiday together for the first time. Knowing that she now has the confidence to do this is something I keep front of mind every working day. 


Kay, Director of the GSK Focus on the Patient program

In the 21st century, people should not be dying unnecessarily from respiratory disease. The voice of the patient and caregiver is important to help us understand how we can improve our medicines, devices and their use, plus support services to try to help patients manage their condition. Through my work, I help bring the voice of the patient into GSK, so all our employees can have a better understanding of the needs of patients.


Özgür, Patient Advocacy Executive

I am passionate about working for patients to help them do more and feel better. Last year, I worked on an awareness campaign focusing on the burden of asthma. This was when I fully came to appreciate how a single disease like asthma can create such a large personal, societal and economic burden. There are still many people who aren’t aware of the impact asthma can have on people, so it is important to me to be involved in activities that raise the patient voice and increase awareness of respiratory disease.

GSK’s commitment respiratory patients

We want everyone with asthma or COPD to feel healthier and to lead the life they want.  We recognise that every respiratory patient is different. We are proud to have supported respiratory patients for more than 45 years through our research and medicines.

We have also developed a range of practical tools, such as the MyAsthma appCOPD Assessment Test (CAT) or the Asthma Control Test, which are aimed at both patients and healthcare professionals to help the management of respiratory diseases.

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