European Health Policy Leaders Open to Dialog On Approches to the Societal Impact of Pain

European Health Policy Leaders Open to Dialog On Approches to the Societal Impact of Pain

Torek, 04 Maj 2010,

Over 150 high-ranking decision makers from 28 European countries launched the dibate today on the societal impact and the healthcare policy implications of pain at the EFIC® Symposium in Brussels Brussels, May 4th, 2010 – Although a recent survey has shown that one in five Europeans suffer from some form of pain in the last thirty days, healthcare systems in Europe have not yet developed adequate policies to assess pain therapies that take into account the full societal and economic effects of chronic pain.

But diagnosing a problem is the first important step towards solving it, and message from European decision makers meeting in Brussels today is that the process of dialogue, discussion and exchange of research and best practices has begun.

The European Federation of the Association for the Study of Pain, EFIC® is firmly convinced of the importance of discussing the ‘Societal Impact of Pain’ with authorities, insurances, budget holders and strategic decision makers within national health care systems. For this reason EFIC® organised the Symposium on the “Societal Impact of Pain” today and tomorrow in Brussels.

The Symposium’s first day centered around the question raised by Prof. Ken Paterson, Chair of the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC): “Are we Adequately Equipped to Assess Pain Therapies? Among the distinguished speakers addressing the issue were Dr. Isabel de la Mata, Principal Advisor in Public Health with the DG SANCO – Health & Consumers at the Euroepan Commission;; Meindert Boysen, Programme Director Technology Appraisals of NICE (UK), Prof. Lise Rochaix from the Board of the French National Health Authority (HAS); and Mr. Paolo Daniele Siviero, Director of the Office of Pharmaceutical Policy at the Italian Medicine Agency (AIFA); and other medical professionals, researchers and policy experts.

« Pain is one of the most frequent reasons to visit health professionals » declared the President of EFIC, Prof. Giustino Varrassi. « Recent data show that many of pain patients are not adequately treated because pain is not fully recognised as an important health issue within the national Health Care Systems while being overwhelmed by the high societal costs related to pain (absenteeism, disability, assisted care, informal and family care, etc.)

The symposium also foresees the presentation and discussion of interesting projects initiated in many countries to investigate the economic factors related to the burden of pain on patients and the society and suggest future innovations. Unfortunately the knowledge gained and management instruments developed locally are still too rarely shared amongst health care authorities and stakeholders throughout Europe. The “Societal Impact of Pain” symposium intends to be a positive step towards improving public policy in Europe.

The symposium is generously sponsored by Grünenthal GmbH.

More information on the symposium can be found under: The program and abstract booklet can be downloaded under:

EFIC® Symposium, Brussels, 4th & 5th May 2010 The societal impact of pain

About EFIC

The European Federation of IASP Chapters (EFIC) is a multidisciplinary professional organization in the field of pain science and medicine, made up of the 30 European Chapters of IASP (International Association for the Study of Pain). Established in 1993, EFIC’s 30 constituent chapters represent 33 countries and close to 18.000 scientists, physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and other healthcare professionals across Europe, who study pain and treat patients in pain.

About the SIP (“Societal Impact of Pain”) Symposium

EFIC® hosted over 150 strategic decision makers from 28 EU countries on pain-therapy-related issues and with responsibility for healthcare budgets from different European countries who met to discuss the factors affecting the costs of pain therapy, and benchmark indicators and future perspectives in workshops. The different views and solutions will support the building of a network on the issues related to the “Societal Impact of Pain” in the EU from the health care systems perspective.

Medical professionals, patients association, politicians and experts on economics and insurances will gather to contribute with their personal knowledge and working experiences. The symposium is structured in six workshops:

  • Prevalence and epidemiology
  • Evidence in pain therapy from a societal perspective
  • Impact of pain on the society
  • Health economic models on pain treatment
  • Cost related to pain
  • Light House projects.

Venue of the symposium:
Hotel Dolce La Hulpe
135, Chaussée de Bruxelles,
1310 La Hulpe – Belgium
Joshua Lawrence
EFIC Press Officer
Mobile (+39) 328 0553 470
skype: joshua.john.lawrence