2017

A major step forward for pain patients! Health ministers call for action on access to treatment for patients suffering from chronic pain
Friday June 16th, at a high level EU meeting, Health Ministers included chronic pain in the conclusions inviting Member States to evaluate access to treatment.
Brussels, Belgium – Friday June 16th, the Council of the European Union on Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs adopted its conclusions on “Encouraging Member States-driven Voluntary Cooperation of Health Systems” (1).
Under the leadership of the Maltese Presidency, the Health Ministers have agreed that it is time to evaluate access to treatment for patients with chronic pain, while recognising the need to maintain the balance between innovation, availability, accessibility and affordability. The aim is to increase the effectiveness, accessibility and resilience of health systems across the European Union, and to identify priority areas where cooperation between health systems may add value.
This is a substantial step for pain patients throughout the EU towards getting pain recognised as a disease in its own right. The Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) platform is committed to ensure that these words are transformed into actions.
This comes only one week after Martin Seychell, Deputy Director General DG SANTE, formally announced the launch of the Expert Group on the Social Impact of Pain within the EU Health Policy Platform during the Societal Impact of Pain symposium (SIP 2017) held in Malta. While the Expert Group, aims at building a bridge between health systems, pain stakeholders and policy makers, the inclusion of pain in the council conclusions highlights an increasing understanding by European institutions and Member States of the need to act now to help the one in five EU citizens suffering from chronic pain. 
Since 2010, the SIP-Platform has been calling for policies addressing the societal impact of pain around the EU. The SIP platform aims to create structured EU-wide cooperation with lasting political impact, to find solutions that improve the lives of those with chronic pain, but also minimize the impact of pain on society. The SIP platform does so by raising awareness of the impact pain has on our societies, by facilitating the exchange of information and best-practices and supporting European wide policy strategies and activities for improved pain policies in Europe. As an international initiative the SIP platform provides opportunities for discussion amongst all stakeholders involved (health care professionals, pain patients, pain advocacy groups, politicians, health insurances, representatives of health authorities, regulators and budget holders).
Pain causes a problem for individuals as well as a challenge for healthcare systems, economies and society: each year, approximately one in five Europeans or 20 percent of the adult population in Europe are affected by chronic pain (2). This includes 153 million people suffering migraine or other disabling headaches, 200 million musculoskeletal disorders and 100 million people experiencing other forms of chronic pain (3). The estimated direct and indirect healthcare costs for chronic pain disorders in European Member States vary between two and three percent of GDP across the EU (4) (5). For 2016, this would result in up to 441 billion Euros annually (6). Experts estimate that half of all citizens living in the EU at some point in their lives suffer from back pain. Approximately 15 percent of these citizens with back pain are on sick leave for over one month (7). With more than 500 million sick days per year in Europe, musculoskeletal pain alone causes almost 50 percent of all absences from work lasting at least three days in the EU and 60 percent of permanent work incapacity (4). Worldwide chronic pain conditions (in particular back pain) are by far the greatest cause of disability (8) (9). Unsurprisingly chronic pain is one of the major reasons why people exit the labour market prematurely and it contributes significantly to disability retirement (10).
Yet pain remains poorly managed and under-treated, affecting not only patients, but society at large as it increases the risks of other health problems, social exclusion and poverty (11). In order to tackle the societal impact of pain it needs to be prioritized in policy making while adressing a whole systems perspective (12).
Friday June 16th, at a high level EU meeting, Health Ministers included chronic pain in the conclusions inviting Member States to evaluate access to treatment.
A major step forward for pain patients and addressing the societal impact of pain!
You find more information at www.SIP-Platform.eu or contact:
SIP-Platform, sip-platform@grunenthal.com,
Pain Alliance Europe, president@pae-eu.eu, +31 650 22 2735
European Pain Federation EFIC, sam.kynman@efic.org , +32 49065 0434
Active Citizenship Network, m.votta@cittadinanzattiva.it, +39 339 892 7455
Grünenthal, Norbert.vanRooij@Grunenthal.com, +49 171 759 6874
About the SIP-Platform
The Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) is an international, multi-stakeholder platform created as a joint initiative of the European Pain Federation EFIC® and Grünenthal with the aim to:

raise awareness of the relevance of the impact that pain has on our societies, health and economic systems
exchange information and sharing best-practices across all Member States of the European Union
develop and foster European-wide policy strategies for an improved pain management in Europe (Pain Policy).

The scientific framework of the “Societal Impact of Pain” (SIP) platform is under the responsibility of the European Pain Federation EFIC®. Cooperation partners for SIP 2017 are Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) and Active Citizenship Network (ACN). The pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH is responsible for funding and non-financial support (e.g. logistical support). The scientific aims of the SIP symposia have been endorsed by over 300 international and national pain advocacy groups, scientific organisations and authorities.
Literature

European Council. Draft Council conclusions on Encouraging Member States-driven Voluntary Cooperation between Health Systems. European Council. [Online] 16 June 2017. [Cited: 16 June 2017.] http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-9978-2017-REV-1/en/pdf. 9519/17 SAN 209.
Breivik, H, et al., et al. Survey of chronic pain in Europe: prevalence, impact on daily life, and treatment. European Journal of Pain. 2006, Vol. 10, pp. 287–333.
Brain, Mind and Pain. The Book of Evidence. s.l. : Brain, Mind and Pain interst group, 2015. http://www.brainmindpain.eu.
Bevan, Stephen. Reducing Temporary Work Absence Through Early Intervention: The case of MSDs in the EU. Lancashire : The Work Foundation, 2013. http://www.theworkfoundation.com/DownloadPublication/Report/341_The%20case%20for%20early%20interventions%20on%20MSDs.pdf.
Breivik, H, Eisenberg, E and O'Brien, T. The individual and societal burden of chronic pain in Europe: the case for strategic prioritisation and action to improve knowledge and availability of appropriate care. BMC Public Health. 24 December 2013, Vol. 13, 1229.
EuroStat. Eurostat Newsrelease. Eurostat. [Online] 3 30, 2017. [Cited: 5 10, 2017.] http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/7962764/1-30032017-AP-EN.pdf/. 52/2017.
Bevan, Stephen, et al., et al. Fit For Work? Musculoskeletal Disorders in the European Workforce. s.l. : The work foundation, 2009. http://www.fitforworkeurope.eu/default.aspx.locid-0afnew009.Lang-EN.htm.
Newton, John N, et al., et al. Changes in health in England, with analysis by English regions and areas of deprivation, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet. 5 December 2015, Vol. 386, pp. 2257-2274.
Vos, Theo, et al., et al. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet. 10053, 8 October 2016, Vol. 388, pp. 1545 - 1602. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31678-6..
Saastamoinen, P, et al., et al. Pain and disability retirement: a prospective cohort study. Pain. March 2012, Vol. 153(3), pp. 526-531.
Pain Concern. Transcript – Programme 76: Pain, poverty and employment. [Online] 29 February 2016. [Cited: 26 July 2016.] http://painconcern.org.uk/transcript-programme-76-pain-poverty-employment/.
Phillips, Ceri, et al., et al. Prioritising pain in policy making: The need for a whole systems perspective. Health Policy. 2008, Vol. 88, pp. 166-175. http://www.academia.edu/14017982/Prioritising_pain_in_policy_making_the_need_for_a_whole_systems_perspective.

EU Health ministers call for action on access to treatment f…

A major step forward for pain patients! Health ministers call for action on access to treatment for patients suffering from chronic pain Friday June 1…

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Valletta, Malta June 8th. The opening speech by the President of Malta at the European Union Civic Prize on Chronic Pain, organised by the Active Citizenship Network
 

President of Malta gives speech on the societal impact of pain

Valletta, Malta June 8th. The opening speech by the President of Malta at the European Union Civic Prize on Chronic Pain, organised by the Active Citi…

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Valletta, Malta, June 9, 2017. The World Health Organisation (WHO), the global institution setting health policy standards, has proposed a new definition of ‘chronic pain’ which could see care for pain patients improve significantly. Speaking at the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) symposium, Dr Robert Jakob, Medical Officer at the WHO, gave a preview of the new definition and its implications.
The classification of chronic primary pain as a disease should lead to governments taking a new interest in pain and how their health systems assess and treat it. The WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is usually followed by governments when they are altering their health systems and considering which services to fund. Apart from governments, the ICD also informs clinicians and researchers alike. Now, chronic primary pain is likely to be included for the first time when the current ICD process concludes.
“This will have major implications for health care,” said Rolf-Detlef Treede, Vice-Dean for Research at the Medical Faculty Mannheim of Heidelberg University in Germany and former President of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). “We should see chronic pain finally getting the recognition it deserves.”
Liisa Jutila, Vice President of Pain Alliance Europe, agreed and highlighted: “Chronic pain has for years been poorly understood and poorly treated. The WHO recognising chronic primary pain should reverse this trend and improve the lives of patients around the world.”
The European Pain Federation EFIC, which represents 20,000 healthcare practitioners and researcher in the field of pain have been proposing a definition of chronic pain as a disease since 2001. The current ICD process has been supported by an IASP task force that developed the classification of chronic primary pain for the 11th ICD catalogue.
- Ends -
 
About the SIP-Platform
The Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) is an international, multi-stakeholder platform created as a joint initiative of the European Pain Federation Efic® and Grünenthal with the aim to:

raise awareness of the relevance of the impact that pain has on our societies, health and economic systems
exchange information and sharing best-practices across all Member States of the European Union
develop and foster European-wide policy strategies for an improved pain management in Europe (Pain Policy).

The scientific framework of the “Societal Impact of Pain” (SIP) platform is under the responsibility of the European Pain Federation EFIC®. Cooperation partners for SIP 2017 are Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) and Active Citizenship Network (ACN). The SIP 2017 symposium is co-hosted by the Malta Health Network and the No Pain Foundation. The pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH is responsible for funding and non-financial support (e.g. logistical support). In the past the scientific aims of the SIP symposia have been endorsed by over 300 international and national pain advocacy groups, scientific organisations and authorities.            

World Health Organisation proposes new definition of chronic…

Valletta, Malta, June 9, 2017. The World Health Organisation (WHO), the global institution setting health policy standards, has proposed a new definit…

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Martin Seychell, Deputy Director General, European Commission DG Health and Food Safety and representatives of the SIP 2017 partners present the outcomes of this year's symposium in Valetta, Malta.

European Commission recognises Societal Impact of Pain

Valletta, Malta, June 9, 2017. The 7th annual Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) symposium comes to an end today, with clear policy recommendations having …

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SIP 2017 Symposium in Malta has taken place from June 7 to 9.Watch the impressions of SIP 2017 here.

Impressions

SIP 2017 Symposium in Malta has taken place from June 7 to 9.Watch the impressions of SIP 2017 here.…

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As the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) symposium 2017 kicked off today in Valletta, the Red Balloon Campaign celebrated its closing ceremony during the pre-symposium on Wednesday evening. The campaign was initiated in May 2016 to raise global awareness on chronic pain posing not only a heavy burden on those suffering but also on their families and general society.

Red Balloons in Valletta

As the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) symposium 2017 kicked off today in Valletta, the Red Balloon Campaign celebrated its closing ceremony during the …

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Representatives of the No Pain Foundation, the European Pain Federation EFIC, the European Patients’ Forum and the ISAL Foundation discuss the societal impact of pain on Malta.

Maltese patient organisations call for National Pain Plan

Valletta, Malta, June 8, 2017. The 7th annual Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) symposium started yesterday in Valletta with an opening workshop in which …

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Four new endorsers have committed to supporting the Societal Impact of Pain platform for 2017.

SIP Welcomes New Endorsers for 2017

Four new endorsers have committed to supporting the Societal Impact of Pain platform for 2017.…

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Ahead of the 2017 symposium, the Abstract Book has been published to provide an overview of the programme, speakers and initiatives.

Abstract Book 2017

Ahead of the 2017 symposium, the Abstract Book has been published to provide an overview of the programme, speakers and initiatives.…

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The Societal Impact of Pain Website has been relaunched.

SIP Website Relaunch

The Societal Impact of Pain Website has been relaunched.

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