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SIP 2019: Introductory remarks

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SIP 2019: Introductory remarks
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  • Bart Morlion (European Pain Federation EFIC)
  • Liisa Jutila (Pain Alliance Europe PAE)
  • Mariano Votta (Active Citizenship Network ACN)
  • Mark Fladrich (Grunenthal)

Moderators: Michael von Fisenne (Grünenthal), Giustino Varrassi (World Institute of Pain)

2019 marks 10 years of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) Platform.

In October 2009, a small group of stakeholders joined forces with the aim of tackling the burden of chronic pain in society. The name “Societal Impact of Pain” (SIP) was chosen more or less by accident, based on a drawing made on a flipchart during the initial meeting of its founders.

Ten years later, the Platform has grown into a large community, with more than 300 endorsing organisations from over 35 countries.

Bringing the community together to exchange best practice, provide support, and calling for action at political level, SIP is widely considered a benchmark for integrated multi-stakeholder collaboration towards concrete actions.

Some of the major milestones that SIP has achieved in the past ten years include: 

2011: The Societal Impact of Pain A Road Map for Action (1)

The Road Map called on European governments and EU institutions to established an EU platform to enable the exchange, comparison, and benchmarking of best practice between member states on pain management and its impact on society; and use the platform to monitor trends and provide guidelines to ensure harmonisations across EU member states.

2014: Informal Health Conclusions Italian Presidency, Informal Health Council (2)

During the informal EU Health Ministers meeting in 2014, the Italian Presidency placed pain therapy and palliative care at the top of their agenda. The 28 EU health ministers pledged to further promote the use of palliative care and pain therapy in the EU member states. The common position reached put forward the need to create a European network ensuring the training of professionals in the health sector and the exchange of information on the effectiveness of therapies for the most vulnerable population groups.

2016: 8 Policy Recommendations: Time for Action (3)

Under the motto ‘Time for Action’, over 220 representatives of healthcare and stakeholder organisations from more than 28 countries met and put forward eight policy recommendations to the EU Institutions and national governments. The recommendations focused on establishing an EU platform on the societal impact of pain, integrate chronic pain in EU chronic disease policies and cancer strategies, initiate policies addressing the impact of pain on employment, increase investment in pain research, and prioritise pain education within medical professional curricula as well as towards patients and the general public. These Policy Recommendations (4) were reiterated at SIP 2017.

2017: Council Conclusions

In June 2017, the Council of the European Union on Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs adopted Council Conclusions on “Encouraging Member States-driven Voluntary Cooperation of Health Systems” (5). Under the Maltese Presidency, the Health Ministers agreed that it was 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 being 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.

2018: SIP Thematic Network Joint Statement (6)

In 2018, SIP was selected the European Commission as one of just three topics for the Thematic Network (TN) programme, hosted on the EU Health Policy platform. A Framing Paper and Joint Statement were developed, with the support of many SIP stakeholder groups, and presented to the European Commission in November 2018. The Joint Statement called on the EU Institutions and member state Governments to promote pain as health quality indicator, to promote further research on pain, to address chronic pain as a factor in employment, and to promote pain education of healthcare professional, patients and society at large.

2019: SIP collaboration with CHRODIS+ (7)

The 2018 SIP Thematic Network provided a unique opportunity to create new synergies and break silos. In 2019, SIP has started collaborating with the Joint Action of the European Commission, “CHRODIS+”, which aims to implement pilot projects and generate practical lessons in the area of chronic diseases.  Through CHRODIS+, 42 Partners representing 21 European countries collaborate to implement pilot projects and generate practical lessons in the field of chronic diseases. SIP is particularly involved in Work Package 8 on employment and chronic conditions.

Without the support and active involvement of the SIP community, SIP would not be as successful and impactful as it is today, for this we would like to thank each one of our partners and endorsers.

Watch the 10 Years SIP video what has happened and achieved by SIP in the past 10 years.



You can find more materials from the SIP 2019 Symposium here:

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