AIM: Respiratory diseases are a public health issue throughout the world, with high prevalence and morbidity. This Research Needs Statement from the International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) aims to highlight unanswered questions on the management of respiratory diseases that are of importance to practising primary care clinicians. METHODS: An informal but inclusive consultation process was instigated in 2009. Draft statements in asthma, rhinitis, COPD, tobacco dependence, and respiratory infections were circulated widely to IPCRG members, other recognised experts, and representatives from a range of economic and healthcare backgrounds. An iterative process was used to generate, prioritise and refine research questions in each section. RESULTS: Two overarching themes emerged. Firstly, there is a real need for research to be undertaken within primary care, which recruits patients representative of primary care populations, evaluates interventions realistically delivered within primary care, and draws conclusions that will be meaningful to professionals working within primary care. Secondly, international and national guidelines exist, but there is little evidence on the best strategies for implementing recommendations. Disease-specific research questions focus on effective and cost-effective ways to prevent disease, confirm the diagnosis, assess control, manage treatment, and empower selfmanagement. Practical questions about how to deliver this comprehensive agenda in diverse primary care settings are highlighted. CONCLUSIONS: We hope that this Research Needs Statement will be used by clinicians and patients campaigning for answers to relevant questions, by researchers seeking funding to provide answers to these questions, and by funding bodies to enable them to prioritise research agendas.