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40th Edition of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) newsletter

Dr. Brona Fullen & Ms. Deirdre Ryan – European Pain Federation EFIC & Pain Alliance Europe (PAE), Belgium

Dear Reader,

We hope you are well and feeling rested after the summer period.

The political recess period is over, the institutions are back in full swing, and Brussels is buzzing once again. The Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) platform, is gearing up for a busy political season; hosting two virtual events, continuing our advocacy work to raise awareness about pain and influence pain policies, and representing healthcare professionals as well as those suffering from chronic pain.

Moving forward, healthcare remains in the spotlight. As we emerge from the COVID-19 health crisis, questions are being asked about what we can learn from the pandemic, how research can help better understand long-COVID symptoms and what are the next steps in the pre-winter vaccination rollout. Cancer also remains high on the agenda, forming the basis of the EU’s Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and we are delighted to be attending the European Cancer Summit in November 2022, organised by the European Cancer Organisation.

We are very pleased to announce that our letter to the Editor on the need to implement ICD-11 has been published in the European Journal of Pain. It is open access, so we encourage everyone to read it to learn more about the role of ICD-11 at European level, in particular the ICD-11’s 2022 addition of chronic pain. Read it here.

September was Pain Awareness Month – a reminder on the importance of improving the understanding of chronic pain and associated conditions, highlighting the latest advances in pain research and focusing on new approaches that improve care for people living with pain. For SIP, every day is about raising awareness of pain and we continue to represent those living in chronic pain and influence policy on their behalf.

The third SIP National Platform Call of 2022 took place at the beginning of September. It was a great meeting, bringing together national platforms from around Europe to update them on SIP’s most recent progress regarding the 2022 SIP Road Map Monitor, policy and advocacy plans for ICD-11 and 2023 priorities and goals. We will next meet in November.

We are also busy behind the scenes preparing for our upcoming event at the end of October – our Annual SIP Stakeholder Forum. Join us on 31st October 10h00-12h00 CET and hear an overview of our recent activities, achievements and aspirations for the future. The event will also bring together a range of stakeholders with a shared interest in pain policies and there will be great discussion about potential areas of collaboration for the coming year. Please note the meeting is an invitation-only event so please get in touch with SIP’s Project Manager Angela Cano Palomares to register:

Furthermore, on the 29th November at 14h00-17h00 CET, join us again as we will be hosting an event entitled: ‘Pain in the international Classification of Diseases (ICD-11): a SIP Event’. With the addition of chronic pain to the ICD-11 this year, it is an important topic which is shaping SIP and its activities. We are revising our Road Map Monitor in order to understand how national guidelines, action plans and status of policies have evolved in the last two years, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results from the SIP Road Map Monitor 2022 will be officially launched at this event. Register here.

The SIP team has recently expanded. Dieyenaba Faye will be supporting SIP’s activities as a Communications and Advocacy Trainee, as well as the European Pain Federation (EFIC). Welcome Dieyenaba to the team!

In other news, it has been a busy summer period for Pain Alliance Europe (PAE). PAE and Brain, Mind and Pain Patient-Centred Innovation Grant (BMP) announced the Grant winners via a virtual event in July. Visit the BMP Grant website for more information and watch the winners’ reactions here and here.

PAE has joined Psychedelic Access and Research European Alliance (PAREA)   as a member, and PAE President Deirdre Ryan was elected as a Co-Chair. This group's main objective is evidence-based policy change towards psychedelics, particularly for mental health conditions.

PAE’s Annual General Assembly will take place virtually on Friday, 23 September. The PAE Board will say goodbye to two long-serving Board Members, Maria Soledad Garcia Penalta (Marisol) and Mariano Votta.

Finally, please remember to visit our website and social media channels in order to be kept up-to-date with all our activities! Be sure to also check out our events section of our website!

Once again, we would like to thank you for your continued support, engagement and collaboration.

Best wishes,

Dr. Brona Fullen, President of European Pain Federation EFIC &
Ms. Deirdre Ryan, President of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE)

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