open access

Vol 85, No 3 (2017)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Published online: 2017-06-07
Submitted: 2017-05-23
Accepted: 2017-06-05
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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) ― common practice in Poland before the “antifibrotic drugs era”

Wojciech Jerzy Piotrowski, Magdalena M Martusewicz-Boros, Adam J Białas, Katarzyna Lewandowska
DOI: 10.5603/ARM.2017.0023
·
Adv Respir Med 2017;85(3):136-142.

open access

Vol 85, No 3 (2017)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Published online: 2017-06-07
Submitted: 2017-05-23
Accepted: 2017-06-05

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive and debilitating lung disease with a median survival time of 3–5 years. For now, pirfenidone (PIR) and nintedanib (NTB) are the only drugs that can slow down the disease’s progression. In Poland, these drugs, although registered for legal use, had not been reimbursed for IPF patients until the end of the year 2016.

Aim of the study was to assess what was common practice in terms of diagnosis and treatment in the period before antifibrotic drugs became available for IPF patients in Poland.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We performed a survey among participants of two nationwide pulmonological congresses held in 2016.

RESULTS: One hundred and fifty physicians took part in the study. Only 55% of respondents would reach their final diagnosis in collaboration with a radiologist. Just 40% of those sending patients for surgical lung biopsy (SLB) would discuss the case directly with a pathologist. 22% would never refer the patient suspected of having IPF for SLB. 85% believed that bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) may be useful for diagnosis. 41% of respiratory professionals would not use any drug for the treatment of IPF patients. 23% of physicians would prescribe corticosteroids in high doses (CS), either in monotherapy or in combination with other drugs. Only 43% of respondents would use antacid drugs in case of symptomatic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and only 11% would prescribe these drugs regardless of GERD diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of Polish pulmonologists were not supported by radiologists and pathologists in the diagnostic process. Treatment standards were unsatisfactory, mostly due to a lacking of reimbursement regulations. Further education is necessary to improve management of IPF patients in Poland.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive and debilitating lung disease with a median survival time of 3–5 years. For now, pirfenidone (PIR) and nintedanib (NTB) are the only drugs that can slow down the disease’s progression. In Poland, these drugs, although registered for legal use, had not been reimbursed for IPF patients until the end of the year 2016.

Aim of the study was to assess what was common practice in terms of diagnosis and treatment in the period before antifibrotic drugs became available for IPF patients in Poland.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We performed a survey among participants of two nationwide pulmonological congresses held in 2016.

RESULTS: One hundred and fifty physicians took part in the study. Only 55% of respondents would reach their final diagnosis in collaboration with a radiologist. Just 40% of those sending patients for surgical lung biopsy (SLB) would discuss the case directly with a pathologist. 22% would never refer the patient suspected of having IPF for SLB. 85% believed that bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) may be useful for diagnosis. 41% of respiratory professionals would not use any drug for the treatment of IPF patients. 23% of physicians would prescribe corticosteroids in high doses (CS), either in monotherapy or in combination with other drugs. Only 43% of respondents would use antacid drugs in case of symptomatic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and only 11% would prescribe these drugs regardless of GERD diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of Polish pulmonologists were not supported by radiologists and pathologists in the diagnostic process. Treatment standards were unsatisfactory, mostly due to a lacking of reimbursement regulations. Further education is necessary to improve management of IPF patients in Poland.

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Keywords

idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, diagnosis, treatment, international guidelines, Poland

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About this article
Title

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) ― common practice in Poland before the “antifibrotic drugs era”

Journal

Advances in Respiratory Medicine

Issue

Vol 85, No 3 (2017)

Pages

136-142

Published online

2017-06-07

DOI

10.5603/ARM.2017.0023

Bibliographic record

Adv Respir Med 2017;85(3):136-142.

Keywords

idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
diagnosis
treatment
international guidelines
Poland

Authors

Wojciech Jerzy Piotrowski
Magdalena M Martusewicz-Boros
Adam J Białas
Katarzyna Lewandowska

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