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13th edition of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) newsletter

Prof. Bart Morlion – Multidisciplinary Pain Centre of the University of Leuven, Belgium

Dear Reader,

We are almost at the end of the year 2017 and we are proud on the significant achievements of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) platform in getting chronic pain embedded in the EU policy agenda. Several new endorsers joined the SIP platform – an impressing number of 306 organisations working in the area of pain and endorsing the aims of SIP.

The SIP Symposium in June 2017 in Malta entitled “Structured cooperation between health care systems tackling the societal impact of pain!”  has been a great success. More than 300 multi-disciplinary experts in the area of pain came together to formulate clear policy recommendations to change pain care in the European Union for the better and to alleviate the effect of pain on society.

Later in June, under the leadership of the Maltese Presidency, the EU 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 main achievement of this year’s SIP activities has been that the Social Impact of Pain (SIP) Expert Group, hosted on the EU Health Platform of the European Commission, went live in October. In the meantime we have more than 80 active members of the Expert Group - please join us if you are not a member yet!

Another milestone is that “Pain” has been included in European Commission report „EU State of Health“ which was published in November.

Finally, a survey of engagement within the EU Health Policy Platform took place in December to select topics for “Thematic Networks” and SIP received the 2nd highest number of votes of all candidates!

As agreed with the SIP Steering Committee the strategy for 2018 is to build on and learn from the successes in Europe by establishing activities at a national level in 2018.

On behalf of the SIP partners I want to thank you for the great collaboration and endorsement of the SIP initiative in 2017 and wish you and your beloved ones happy holidays!


Warmest wishes,


Prof. Bart Morlion
Director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Centre of the University of Leuven, Belgium
President of the European Pain Federation (EFIC)®

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