3rd edition of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) newsletter
We have the pleasure to share with you the third edition of the SIP newsletter. The SIP Symposium 2016 just took place a few weeks ago, and we’d like to reflect with you on the main outcomes of the exiting and fruitful discussions.
Under the motto ‘Time for Action’, over 220 representatives of health care- and stakeholder- organisations from more than 28 countries met in the European Parliament and Concert Noble in Brussels to discuss the “Societal Impact of Pain” (SIP). The objectives of the symposium SIP 2016 were endorsed by over 160 organisations active in the field of pain.
This year’s SIP symposium hosted four working groups while bringing together representatives of the European institutes, policy makers, pain specialists, scientific researchers, patient representatives and other stakeholders to discuss four key issues related to the societal impact of pain:
- Pain as a quality indicator for health care
- Chronic pain: a disease or symptom?
- The relevance of pain in cancer care and rehabilitation
- Pain, rehabilitation and reintegration of workers in the workforce
Under the scientific auspice of the European Pain Federation EFIC (EFIC®) and guided by SIP 2016 cooperation partners Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) and Active Citizenship Network (ACN), the faculty of each working group produced specific policy recommendations addressing the societal impact of pain.
The level of interest to SIP among Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and other European and national policy makers proved its success. Not only was the event being held under the high patronage of the Italian Ministry of Health, but also the MEP Interest Group on Brain, Mind and Pain
endorsed the objectives of the symposium, together with more than 20 cross-parties and cross-countries supportive Members of the European Parliament.
Therefore we greatly thank all the Members of the European Parliament who supported and attended SIP 2016, in particular Clara Eugenia Aguilera Garcìa (Spain), Heinz K. Becker (Austria), Soledad Cabezòn Ruiz (Spain), Nicola Caputo (Italy), Therese Comodini Cachia (Malta), Miriam Dalli (Malta), José Inàcio Faria (Portugal), Theresa Griffin (UK), Francoise Grossetête (France), Takis Hadjigeorgiou (Cyprus), Marian Harkin (Ireland), Agnes Jongerius (The Netherlands), Merja Kyllönen (Finland), Giovanni La Via (Italy), Jeroen Lenaers (The Netherlands), Roberta Metsola (Malta), Miroslav Mikolášik (Slovakia), Piernicola Pedicini (Italy), Sirpa Pietikainen (Finland), Alfred Sant (Malta), and Sabine Verheyen (Germany).
MEP Giovanni La Via. ©2016 - Isabelle Pateer / Otherweyes
During SIP 2016, Giovanni La Via Member of the European Parliament and chairman of the Committee on health issues, announced the launch of a Written Declaration on chronic pain in the European Parliament calling for a reference network for centres of excellence in pain treatment. We will surely share with you any update on this front in due time!
Meanwhile preparation has started for SIP 2017, which will take place in Malta during the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU, as announced at this year’s SIP by the Maltese Member of the European Parliament Alfred Sant and the Maltese pain representatives of the No Pain Foundation and Malta Health Network.
The Maltese delegation at SIP 2016. From left to right: Matthew Camilleri (Malta Health Network), Mauro Mario (No Pain Foundation), Dr Marilyn Casha (Mater Dei Hospital, Malta), Prof Boaz Samolsky Dekel (No Pain Foundation), MEP Alfred Sant. ©2016 - Isabelle Pateer / Otherweyes
The motto of SIP 2016 is “Time for action”, in preparation of SIP 2017 let’s live up to the expectations! Send information on your activities on the national implementation of the SIP 2016 policy recommendations to
Prof. Bart Morlion
Director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Centre of the University of Leuven, Belgium
President Elect of the European Pain Federation (EFIC)
Exclusive interviews to Chris Wells, Joop Van Griensven and Mariano Votta prior to SIP 2016
Shortly before SIP 2016, Dr Chris Wells, President of the European Pain Federation EFIC, Joop Van Griensven, President of the Pain Alliance Europe (PAE), and Mariano Votta, Director of Active Citizenship Network (ACN) spelled out what they expected SIP 2016 would bring for them:
clarified what needs to change at EU policy level. "We are concerned that there is very little mention of pain treatment as it relates to cancer care in Commission materials on the subject", he said. "Effective pain policies can positively impact the productivity and longevity of Europe’s labour force and delay early retirement", he proposed.
Mr Van Griensven
urged all the actors involved to agree on a common plan. "If we don’t get that agreement, we are never going to achieve anything – that’s why this symposium is so important – it’s where this will all happen."
focused on the implementation of the cross-border healthcare directive with regards to chronic pain. "Cross border and cross institutional comparison of health care services in pain care require outcome criteria on patient-, consumer-, medical- and policy level", he said.
The final SIP 2016 recommendations
SIP 2016 came to a close putting forward a series of policy recommendations to fundamentally change pain care and the effect of pain on society. They include 8 points for considerations to EU and national policy makers:
- Implement article 8.5 of the Cross-border Healthcare Directive
- Establish an EU platform on the societal impact of pain
- Integrate chronic pain within EU policies on chronic diseases
- Ensure that pain care is a part of policies and strategies on cancer
- Initiate policies addressing the impact of pain on employment
- Implement workplace adjustments for people with chronic pain
- Increase investment in pain research
- Prioritise pain within education for health care professionals, patients and the general public
Read the full policy recommendations here
Working Group 1: recommendations on pain as a quality indicator for health care
The EU Directive on Cross-border Healthcare (2011/24/EU) grants European citizens the right to access treatment in another EU member state, if required. Article 8.5 of this Directive foresees that an objective assessment of ‘the degree of the patient’s pain’ must be used to assess the right to cross-border healthcare. Quality indicators for the measurement of pain are needed to set criteria for granting access to cross-border healthcare, in member states.
Working Group 1 has therefore developed the specific recommendations to the European Commission and national governments to ensure full implementation of the Directive and that the rights of European patients are upheld.
Read the full recommendations of Working Group 1 here
Working Group 2: recommendations on chronic pain, a disease or a symptom?
Chronic pain represents a challenge for patients, health care providers and policy makers across Europe, partly because it is extremely common, it has a negative impact at the societal level, and the underlying complex disease mechanisms requires individualised management and holistic treatment. Chronic pain can be seen as a disease in its own right in carefully described circumstances. Whether considered a disease or a symptom, it demands to be taken seriously, both in terms of diagnosis and of disease management, and to attract prioritisation and resources commensurate with its impact.
Among the recommendations developed by Working Group 2, feature calls to the European Commission to include pain prevention in the chronic diseases initiative, promote research on diagnosis, prevention and management of chronic pain, facilitate the integration of basic and clinical sciences and the develop European quality criteria for pain institutions. The Working Group faculty also suggests national governments to develop multidisciplinary, patient centred strategies for chronic pain management, as well as appropriate policies, guidelines, recommendations and training programmes.
Read the full recommendations of Working Group 2 here
Working Group 3: recommendations on the relevance of pain in cancer care and rehabilitation
The European Union plays a complimentary role with national governments in the fight against non-communicable diseases such as cancer. Through various initiatives, the EU is gathering best practices and guidelines on cancer care and patient support, and has established an Expert Group on Cancer Control to advice the European Commission in formulating and implementing EU activities in the field of cancer. Adequate treatment of pain is highly relevant in cancer patients. Appropriate pain management can reduce the need for sickness absence and disability and can provide better quality of life. Pain treatment is also highly relevant to palliative care.
Working Group 3 has therefore developed specific recommendations to the European Commission and national governments looking at education and training in pain assessment, management and palliative care, at pain research and appropriate allocation of resources.
Read the full recommendations of Working Group 3 here
Working Group 4: recommendations on pain, rehabilitation and reintegration of workers in the workforce
Deteriorating health, together with chronic disease and co-morbidities associated with pain, negatively affects labour supply. Pain and chronic pain can limit movement and cause sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety disorder, concentration disturbance and loss of self-efficacy and autonomy. Chronic pain results in more than 500 million sick days per year in Europe, costing the European economy more than €34 billion. Chronic pain also leads to substantial expenditure in workers compensation and disability benefits. Early and appropriate clinical interventions including rehabilitation aimed at and organized to support staying at work or return to work, can be both cost-effective and have a significant impact on workforce productivity and quality of life.
Working Group 4 has therefore developed specific recommendations to the European Union and national governments to address this problem, especially around the promotion of policies interconnecting healthcare, work and social protection systems to prevent involuntary early retirement. The Working Group also called on national governments to prioritise chronic pain as a national public health priority.
Read the full recommendations of Working Group 4 here
Tell Active Citizenship Network about your way of working with chronic pain and win!
|Active Citizenship Network has launched the first”EU Civic Prize on Chronic Pain - Collecting good practices” to collect evidence of existing good practices in European countries in terms of struggle against pain. The winners will be given an expenses-paid visit to another winner and a publication in English in a suitable journal. Here is more information, the project leaflet, the guide and the link to fill the form by the 31st of August. Share the contest with your contacts!|
Furthering Balanced Pain Management: Lessons from EU Advocates
|SIP 2016 did not go unnoticed in the US. The Alliance for Patient Access, a US network of physicians focusing on patients' access, takes stock of the outcomes of SIP 2016 and states that US pain advocates "could learn from European counterparts when considering how to advance balanced pain management.”|
The article points to similarities and differences in the EU and US pain communities: “As in the United States, chronic pain in EU is a prevalent condition that is costly to both the individual and society at large. (…) But we also differ in some ways. One striking difference was apparent in the discussion of opioids. Given the level of opioid misuse, diversion, addiction and overdose in the United States, domestic pain management discussions often focus solely on opioid policy and regulation. As an American at the SIP meeting, however, I was struck to hear presenters cite the lack of access to opioids as not only a clinical concern, but also a human rights issue.”
The SIP formula was appreciated: “Advocates of balanced pain management can learn much from SIP, particularly in one area: the ability to collaboratively define and pursue specific goals. (…) The level of policymaker attention given to last week’s symposium was a testament to the initiative’s success.”
Questions, need support, wish to endorse or to publish on SIP Platform?
In case you should have any question regarding the newsletter’s contents, please contact Prof. Bart Morlion, EFIC President Elect:
In case you would like to endorse the SIP Platform or to publish news on the SIP Website, please contact Norbert van Rooij (Grünenthal GmbH, Head of Governmental Affairs & Patient Centricity):
In case you should have any technical questions or need assistance, please contact Gudula Petersen (Website Editor):
European Pain Federation EFIC: Chronic pain affects one in five Europeans
The ‘Societal Impact of Pain’ Symposium on May 23 and 24, 2016, will discuss the societal impact of pain and urge decision makers to prioritise pain care in Europe
Around 20 percent of Europe’s adult population suffer from chronic pain, with the resulting direct and indirect costs amounting to a significant 1.5 to 3 percent of total GPD in Europe. At the “Societal Impact of Pain” Symposium, experts, patients’ representatives and policy makers will discuss the socioeconomic implications of pain and policy solutions to this burden for individual and societies.
Brussels, 18 May 2016 – Approximately 20 percent of Europe’s adult population – more than 80 million people – suffer from chronic pain, meaning pain which occurs repeatedly over a period of three months or longer. Some 9 percent of Europeans experience pain on a daily basis. The total direct and indirect costs of chronic pain amount to an estimated 1.5 to 3 percent of total European GDP. It is against this alarming background that the European Pain Federation EFIC and its partners will discuss the socioeconomic implications of pain and policy solutions to this burden for individual and societies at the 6th European Symposium “Societal Impact of Pain (SIP 2016): Time for Action”. The meeting will take place in Brussels on May 23 and 24, 2016 and will bring together pain experts, patients’ representatives and policy makers from around Europe.
“Our objective is to increase the visibility of chronic pain as a medical, economic and social problem, since it affects quality of life more than most other illnesses,” says Dr Chris Wells, President of EFIC. “We are not just talking about the huge burden the treatment of chronic pain places on health budgets, but above all the indirect costs arising from lost productivity and incapacity for work.” Chronic pain accounts for 500 million sick days a year and proves to be the most frequent cause of early retirement and incapacity for work.
“The SIP 2016 symposium aims to engage all stakeholder groups involved in future policy making impacting the societal impact of pain. The outcome of the symposium will include concrete policy suggestions”, says Prof Bart Morlion, EU Liaison Officer and President Elect of the European Pain Federation EFIC. “It is one of EFIC’s major goals to improve pain management in Europe at all levels. We are confident that the symposium will contribute to this end by providing an excellent opportunity for an exchange of information and best practices and by stimulating discussion through task-oriented working groups.”
Topics to be discussed at the SIP 2016 symposium are:
· Pain, rehabilitation and reintegration of workers in the workforce
· Chronic Pain: a disease or an underlying symptom?
· The relevance of pain in cancer care and rehabilitation
· Pain as a quality indicator for health care
Confirmed speakers include MEPs from ten EU countries, leading researchers and specialists in the field of pain, representatives of patients’ organisations, and senior Commission representatives.
The scientific framework of the “Societal Impact of Pain” (SIP) platform is under the responsibility of the European Pain Federation EFIC®. Cooperation partners for SIP 2016 are Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) and Active Citizenship Network (ACN). The pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH is responsible for funding and non-financial support (e.g. logistical support). The scientific aims of the SIP symposia have been endorsed by a large number of international and national pain advocacy groups, scientific organisations and authorities.
For further details see: https://www.sip-platform.eu/
EFIC Press Office
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2nd edition of the SIP newsletter
Welcome letter from the President Elect and EU Liaison Officer of the European Pain Federation (EFIC)
The 2016 SIP symposium is fast approaching!
Here is the second edition of the SIP newsletter. As the 2016 SIP symposium approaches, we thought it would be a good opportunity to give you a preview of the symposium agenda for 2016, and what’s going on behind the scenes in European pain policy.
We look forward to seeing you on the 23rd and 24th.
Prof. Bart Morlion
Director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Centre of the University of Leuven, Belgium
President Elect of the European Pain Federation (EFIC)
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It's not too late to register for SIP 2016 in Brussels!
"Time for Action!"
The 6th Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) symposium will take place in the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium on 23-24 May. The event should be relevant for anyone involved in pain policy e.g. health care professionals, politicians, representatives of pain advocacy groups, insurances, health authorities, regulators and budget holders.
Topics for discussion:
1. Pain as a quality indicator for health care
2. Chronic Pain: a disease or multi-morbidity?
3. The relevance of pain in cancer care and rehabilitation
4. Pain, rehabilitation and reintegration of workers in the working force
More information you can find under Events / SIP 2016. The full scientific programm SIP 2016 will be published soon.
SIP 2016 endorsed by the Italian Ministry of Health and MEP Interest Group on Brain, Mind and Pain
Europe: Announcement of Cluster Headache Day
SIP 2016 success is growing by the hour! Not only the event is being held under the high patronage of the Italian Ministry of Health, but also the whole MEP Interest Group on Brain, Mind and Pain is endorsing the objectives of the symposium, together with other 19 supportive Members of the European Parliament: Clara Eugenia Aguilera Garcìa, Heinz K. Becker, Soledad Cabezòn Ruiz, Nicola Caputo, Theresa Griffin, José Inàcio Faria, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Marian Harkin, Merja Kyllönen, Giovanni La Via, Jeroen Lenaers, Roberta Metsola, Piernicola Pedicini, Sirpa Pietikainen, Sabine Verheyen, Francoise Grossetête, Therese Comodini Cachia, Miriam Dalli, Agnes Jongerius and Alfred Sant.
More than 160 organisations, patient groups, medical associations and other institutions from all over Europe have already confirmed their endorsement for SIP 2016.
Marco Spizzichino, Director of the Italian Health Ministry Directorate for Health Planning will address the symposium personally on the 23rd May. You may be aware that Italy has an innovative approach to dealing with pain care which other EU member states may be able to learn from. We look forward to Mr Spizzichino’s presentation.
In case you are interested in also endorsing the scientific aims of SIP 2016, it is not too late tocontact us.
SIP policy preview: Pain as a quality indicator for health care
A piece of EU law called the Cross-border Healthcare Directive is being implemented this year. Ratified in 2011, the Directive enshrines the right of European citizens to access healthcare in another EU member state. One reason why a patient might need to access healthcare abroad, covered in this law, is the degree of pain they are suffering. A high degree of pain and a long waiting list for treatment should be enough to grant EU citizens the right to seek treatment in another member state.
Two questions arise; how do we measure the degree of pain experienced and are hospitals currently doing this? Jose Inacio Faria (pictured below), a Liberal Member of the European Parliament asked this question to the European Commission earlier this year. Unfortunately, the Commission official’s answer was lacking in detail.
Source: European Parliament audio-visual archive 2014
At SIP 2016 we hope to address these questions properly, and put pressure on the European Commission to force national governments to properly implement the Directive and measure pain.
SIP policy preview: Pain, rehabilitation and reintegration of workers in the working force
As Europe continues to experience slow growth, high unemployment and threats to the sustainability of welfare systems, the rehabilitation and reintegration of workers should be high on the EU policy agenda. Laws in this field are still primarily set by national governments, though the single currency and shared risks have led policy makers to look at a common EU framework for economic policies. National spending is monitored by the European Commission and other national governments, meaning that recommendations naturally have to follow.
One group who provide recommendations is the grouping of national experts on social protection systems, known as the SPC within the European Commission. They are chaired by Thomas Dominique, a senior civil servant at the Luxembourg Ministry for Social Security (pictured below).
Mr Dominique has invited a SIP delegation to present evidence to the SPC of the link between pain care, reduced social protection spending and the rehabilitation and reintegration of workers.
The 2016 SIP symposium will be an opportunity to test arguments and prepare for the presentation to the SPC later in 2016.
Νέες Επικαιροποιημένες Συστάσεις της Ελληνικής Αναισθησιολογικής Εταιρείας σχετικά
με την «Περιοχική αναισθησία και αντιπηκτική αγωγή». (Φεβρουάριος 2016)
European Federation of International IASP®Chapters
Editor: Dr. Brona Fullen
Grensstraat 7, Mailbox 3, B-1831 Diegem, Belgium
ΤΟ ΠΑΓΚΟΣΜΙΟ ΕΤΟΣ ΣΤΟΝ ΠΟΝΟ ΞΕΚΙΝΑ 20 ΟΚΤΩΒΡΙΟΥ 2014 ΚΑΙ ΔΙΑΡΚΕΙ ΜΕΧΡΙ ΤΟΝ ΟΚΤΩΒΡΙΟ 2015
Pan European article on Chronic Pain from Prof Hans G. Kress / EFIC
ΧΟΡΗΓΙΚΟ ΠΑΚΕΤΟ ΓΙΑ ΤΗ ΣΥΝΕΧΙΖΟΜΕΝΗ ΕΚΠΑΙΔΕΥΣΗ ΣΤΗΝ ΑΛΓΟΛΟΓΙΑ