Despite the availability of approved treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), many patients in Europe do not receive them, partly due to a lack of awareness by physicians or a preference for a “wait and watch” approach in people with stable or milder disease.

Better education is needed in Europe to increase “physician awareness of the benefits associated with antifibrotic treatment across the spectrum of IPF severity,” its researchers wrote.

The antifibrotic treatments Esbriet (pirfenidone, marketed by Genentech) and Ofev (nintedanib, marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim) have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of disease progression, and are approved by both the European Medicines Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for IPF.

In the study “Unmet needs in the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?insights from patient chart review in five European countries,” published in the journal BMC Pulmonary Medicine, researchers in Europe conducted an online physician survey to assess treatment patterns and identify unmet treatment needs across the continent.