June 27, 2012

2010 Feb 23 – The Australian Lung Foundation Correction

‘The Australian Lung Foundation strongly rebuts the misleading assertion in the media today that we owe our existence to pharmaceutical companies and that this in some way prejudices the work we do in the community to reduce the burden on people affected by lung disease,’ said William Darbishire, Chief Executive Officer of The Australian Lung Foundation.

The income streams for The Australian Lung Foundation (Lung Foundation) are derived from a number of sources including membership subscriptions, donations, unrestricted educational grants, competitively funded projects, fundraising events and bequests.

‘The Lung Foundation has received support in the form of unrestricted educational grants from a dozen or so pharmaceutical companies representing less than a third of our total income. This is declared and is transparently published on the Lung Foundation website. This has been a practice of the Lung Foundation long before the ACCC required that pharmaceutical companies declare their sponsorships,’ William Darbishire said.

Mr Darbishire went on to say that unrestricted educational grants received from pharmaceutical companies are used at the sole discretion of the Lung Foundation on projects that fit the strategic goals established by its National Council and our mission to reduce the impact of lung disease in Australia.

The funds are not tied to any specific activity of the Lung Foundation and are used for a spectrum of support services in areas such as patient support programs, community awareness, patient resources, research grants and community educational materials. In common with many other health consumer organisations, we operate under The Consumer Health Forum of Australia – Working Together guide to relationships between Health Consumer Organisations and Pharmaceutical Companies.

Information as to which pharmaceutical companies are supporting the Lung Foundation is freely and easily available on www.lungfoundation.com.au and in our Annual Reports (downloadable from the website or in hard copy from the Lung Foundation).

The Lung Foundation was established in 1991 by a group of Thoracic Physicians who were concerned at the lack of research into lung disease and the lack of information and support for patients, families and their carers – this challenge remains today.

It is of note that the article published in the Daily Telegraph today incorrectly stated that the Lung Foundation was established in 2008 and by seed funding provided by one pharmaceutical company. The original funding for the Lung Foundation was provided by donations from patients and respiratory physicians with help from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Lung Foundation programs and initiatives cover information and support through our toll free 1800 number and facilitation of self-help patient support groups across the Nation. Our strategic areas of interest include lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema / chronic bronchitis), interstitial and orphan lung disease, and indigenous health.

Australian Lung Foundation

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