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SIP 2019: Pain research – Joint Statement implementation

Gertrude A. Buttigieg, Marian Nicholson, Elisabetta Vaudano, Petra Bloms-Funke, Monica Ensini, Thomas Tölle

SIP 2019: Pain research – Joint Statement implementation
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Pain Research – SIP Joint Statement Implementation


  • Gertrude A. Buttigieg (Malta Health Network, SIP Malta)
  • Marian Nicholson (Pain Alliance Europe PAE)
  • Elisabetta Vaudano (Innovative Medicines Initiative IMI)
  • Petra Bloms-Funke (Grünenthal)
  • Monica Ensini (European Commission - DG Research)
  • Thomas Tölle (European Pain Federation EFIC)

Moderators: Michael von Fisenne (Grünenthal), Frédéric Destrebecq (European Brain Council)

Session Objective

Since the publication of the Joint Statement in 2019, SIP and its national Platforms have been actively seeking to raise awareness of and implement the Recommendations. In this session, Speakers presented activities which have been launched in 2019 to address the Recommendations on pain research.

Policy Opportunities

The publication of the Joint Statement offers an opportunity for national SIP Platforms and other supporters to call for its implementation, both at European and national level. The new EU Multiannual Financial Framework as well as the newly proposed EU Mission on Cancer, can both offer opportunities to foster pain research. Aside from research funding opportunities at EU level, national stakeholders can also learn from best practice examples from national SIP platforms on how to advocate for furthering pain research and share their own success stories and challenges.


Whilst projects co-funded by the European Commission and Member States exist, the Joint Statement highlights that the funding for pain research is inconsistent on EU and Member State levels. There is currently also not enough total funding into pain research in Europe to adequately meet the needs of patients.

At European-level, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a EU public-private partnership, funds the IMI Pain Care (1) research project, which focuses on three specific challenges: “Use of Patient Reported Outcome Measures for patient – health care professional contacts in acute and chronic pain management; improving translatability of functional biomarkers in pain pathways; and improving translation in chronic pelvic pain.(2) Other major initiatives include, the Brain, Mind, and Pain Patient-Centred Innovation Grant (3), the European Brain Council Value of Treatment Study (4), and the EULAR RheumaMap (5).

At national level, a number of initiatives have taken place. For example, the Malta Health Network and No Pain Foundation, Malta organised a conference on the “quality of life and the impact of pain on Maltese citizens” (6). Discussions at the conference focused on the results of a pain research project which was carried out by the Malta Health Network and No Pain Foundation. A multi-disciplinary expert group from Malta designed and conducted this study, which started in 2017 and was reported in 2018, based on a random sample of 1,100 members of the general public. During the conference, speakers highlighted the findings which noted a strong impact on the quality of life and burden on pain patients, compared Maltese pain research data with European data on chronic pain and its impact on patients, family, and society, and focused on key policy proposals to address the impact of pain on Maltese citizens.



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

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