SIP Thematic Network - Research on Pain
Whilst projects co-funded by the European Commission and Member States exist, funding is inconsistent, lacks coordination between systems and projects, and faces severe cuts. This places a burden on civil society partnerships to conduct and fund research programmes.
The European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) funded the EuroPain project, which ran from 2009 until 2015. The project focused on understanding chronic pain and improving its treatment. Subsequently, the successor to FP7, Horizon 2020, conducted the RELIEF project. The project investigated how to improve chronic pain relief through information-technology solutions. Another Commission-led research example is the DOLORisk project, which addresses personalised medicine.
The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), an EU public-private partnership funds the IMI Pain Care research project and has three specific scientific 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.”
Civil society has conducted a number of research projects to further scientific and medical understanding of pain. These include the Brain, Mind, and Pain Patient-Centred Innovation Grant, the European Brain Council Value of Treatment Study, and the EULAR RheumaMap.
SIP Recommendation for Policy Action
Increase investment in research on the societal impact of pain
SIP calls on the European Commission and Member States to identify and analyse gaps in national and European funding for research (basic science, clinical, epidemiological) on the societal impact of pain. SIP also calls for the drafting of recommendations on how these research programmes can fill these gaps. Such analysis should take into account suggestions for pain research prioritisation from civil society and the scientific community.
Please see the SIP Framing Paper and Call to Action for further information.