EU Initiatives

Raising awareness for chronic pain on national level

Following the official launch of the "Societal Impact of Pain - A Road Map for Action" on European level in the European Parliament on 4 May 2011, it is SIP's mission to raise awareness of the relevance of the impact that pain has on our societies, health and economic systems and to exchange information and share best-practices across all member states of the European Union. 

The following information shows EU-wide initiatives which are not related to any country or region.

MEP La Via promotes a written declaration on Chronic Pain

At the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) Symposium in May 2016, member of the European Parliament (MEP) Giovanni La Via declared: “I personally am promoting with colleagues a written declaration on chronic pain, because we believe access to treatment, continuing quality of care, innovation, and above all, fairness to elderly patients with chronic pain are still not guaranteed.

La Via, a center-right Italian politicians chairing the Committee on health in the European Parliament, stood by his promise and released a written declaration on chronic non-cancer pain in people over 65 on 12 September. This act of the European Parliament gives the opportunity to MEPs to express their views on a specific matter falling within the competence of the European Union. To be adopted, it needs to be signed by the majority of MEPs, meaning at least 376 of them.

Take action and ask your MEP to sign the written declaration before 12 December!

You can read the full written declaration here.


Written declaration, under Rule 136 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, on chronic non-cancer pain in people over 65

1. One in five Europeans suffers from chronic non-cancer pain. One in four is affected by severe chronic pain, especially among people over 65.

2. The total direct and indirect healthcare costs for chronic pain disorders in Member States vary from 2 % to 2.9 % of GDP, with an EU average of 2.4 % and a cost of EUR 271 billion per year.

3. The impact of the treatment of chronic pain on Member States’ health and economic systems includes a heavy loss of work days and a higher cost of treatments.

4. Access to treatments, continuity and quality of care, innovation and, above all, fairness to elderly patients with chronic pain are still today not guaranteed.

5. The Commission is therefore called upon to:

  • contribute to the creation of a network of centres of excellence able to ensure competent expertise and access to appropriate care, reduce socio-economic costs and provide adequate training at university level on the subject of chronic pain with a view to expanding the network of expertise;
  • carry out awareness-raising activities and develop patient orientation plans as regards chronic non-cancer pain, with the active involvement of pharmacies.

6. This declaration, together with the names of the signatories, is forwarded to the Council and the Commission.

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