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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the prototype of interstitial lung diseases, has the worst prognosis and is the only interstitial lung disease for which approved pharmacological treatments are available. Despite being considered a rare disease, IPF patients pose major challenges to both physicians and healthcare systems. It is estimated that a large number of IPF patients reside in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) given their overall total population of approximately 3 billion inhabitants. Nevertheless, the limited availability of chest imaging in BRIC countries is considered a chief obstacle to diagnosis, since high-resolution computed tomography of the chest is the key diagnostic test for IPF. Further, obtaining reliable lung function tests and providing treatment access is difficult in the more rural areas of these countries. However, IPF might represent an opportunity for BRIC countries: the exponentially increasing demand for the enrollment of IPF patients in clinical trials of new drugs is predicted to face a shortage of patients - BRIC countries may thus play a crucial role in advancing towards a cure for IPF.
Richeldi, L., Rubin, A. S., Avdeev, S., Udwadia, Z. F., & Xu, Z. J. (2015). Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in BRIC countries: The cases of Brazil, Russia, India, and China. BMC Medicine, 13(1), 2. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-015-0495-0