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32nd Edition of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) newsletter

Dr. Brona Fullen & Mr. Joop van Griensven – European Pain Federation EFIC, Belgium

Dear reader,
We hope that you are well and that the coming year will see us return to our more normal lives.

2021 is set to be an exciting year for the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) Platform with a number of initiatives for addressing the needs of people living with pain and for healthcare professionals across Europe.

Following the recent publication of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan (3rd February), SIP will hold a virtual event on 2nd March, 14h00-17h00 CET, on “Ensuring Europe's Beating Cancer Plan addresses cancer pain in quality of life, survivorship, and palliative care”. The purpose of this event is to discuss and identify gaps in the plan related to cancer pain, and specifically, make recommendations on quality of life, survivorship, and palliative care. The meeting will be hosted by MEP Dolors Montserrat (EPP, Spain) and MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, Finland). The event will also be an opportunity to strengthen SIP’s engagement with our partner organisations European Cancer Organisation and the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) during the interactive breakout sessions. Please click here for more information and to register.

We held our first SIP National Platform Call of 2021 on the 8th of February. The meeting was an opportunity for National Platform colleagues to share recent updates, discuss their plans for 2021, and to hear from two special guest speakers about the CHRODIS Plus Workbox for chronic disease patients and employment. To stay up-to-date with the latest news from the SIP national platforms, take a look here.

Beyond events, SIP has also been active with European consultations. In January SIP submitted its response to the European Commission’s Roadmap for European Health Data Space, calling on the Commission to ensure that the future policy and regulatory environment permits and promotes tools to develop, share, and measure data on pain and its societal impact.

SIP has also become a partner of the EU-OSHA ‘Healthy Workplaces - Lighten the Load' campaign 2020-22. This campaign focuses on work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and provides information, resources, events, and best practice tips on how to protect workers by preventing and managing MSDs. Further information on SIP’s involvement in this campaign, including how National Platforms can become involved will be included in future SIP National Platform Calls and newsletters.

SIP also recently contributed to the European Cancer Organisation’s publication “Free from cancer: achieving quality of life for all cancer patients and survivors”. The paper aims to help cancer patients and survivors achieve a life truly free from cancer, and its often-under-appreciated impacts.

In December 2020 we introduced Professor Patrice Forget as the new SIP Working Group Chair. In this short interview he shares his background, and his perspective on SIP and pain policies.

In other news, SIP partner Pain Alliance Europe presents the outcomes of the first edition of the Brain, Mind and Pain ‘Patient-Centred Innovation Grant’ (BMP Grant) which focuses on the theme “Overcoming Problems In Access To Treatments”. The results of the PAE survey on how chronic pain patients across Europe are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, are now available on the PAE website here. PAE also contributed to the article of “Digital Health Tools for Managing Noncommunicable Diseases During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives of Patients and Caregivers”, which is published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research here. You can read more about it here.

As we move into an intensified period of European health policy activity, SIP looks forward to continued collaboration with our network and remains committed to addressing issues related to the societal impact of pain. You can keep up to date with SIP’s upcoming activities by checking out our events section.

We would like to thank you for your continued interest, support, and collaboration, we look forward to seeing you at our virtual event on 2nd March! For more information and to register, please click here.


Best wishes,

Dr. Brona Fullen, President of European Pain Federation EFIC &
Mr. Joop van Griensven, President of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE)

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