SIP 2013 Focus Groups for concrete policy outcomes
After three SIP Symposia, this year’s SIP Focus Groups will concentrate on two topics for generating concrete policy instruments and improving chronic pain management in Europe
Brussels/Belgium, 06 March, 2013. This year the European, multi-stakeholder platform “Societal Impact of Pain” (SIP) will organise their annual meeting in the form of SIP 2013 Focus Groups, which will be hosted in the EU Economic & Social Committee and the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium on 14-15 May. The aim of the SIP Platform is to raise awareness of the impact of chronic pain, to exchange information and share best-practices across the European Union and to develop and foster policy strategies and activities to improve pain care in Europe. After three European symposia in 2010-2012, the SIP Programme Committee has decided to concentrate on two topics to generate concrete policy instruments for Europe and its Member States: While SIP Focus Group 1 (14 May) will develop “SIP Recommendations” for a European set of quality indicators for chronic non-malignant pain management, SIP Focus Group 2 (15 May) will stress the correlation of chronic pain and the reduction or loss of work productivity and the workforce, respectively, and will generate a “SIP Proposal for Action” on EU best practices for reintegrating chronic pain patients back into their working environment. Registration link is available at www.sip-platform.eu
The topics of the SIP Focus Groups as selected by the SIP Programme Committee are closely related to one of the seven policy dimensions of the SIP Road Map for Action. The Road Map was a key result from SIP 2011 symposium outlining seven policy dimensions on how the EU institutions and member states can effectively address the societal impact of pain at EU level. The Focus Groups will provide a forum for inspirational key note presentations and in-depth plenary discussion.
Professor Hans Georg Kress, President of the European Federation of IASP® Chapters (EFIC®), explains the background: “It is important to make chronic pain visible as a medical, economical and societal disease. Chronic pain has a big influence on someone’s daily life, working life and family life. We want to make sure that politicians and policy-makers in Europe and in the Member States are aware of the societal impact of chronic pain. Therefore, the outcomes of both Focus Groups shall give concrete suggestions on how we can effectively change pain management and thus improve the quality of life for our patients.”
Here you can find the complete EU SIP 2013 Press Release.
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Happy New Year 2013
A new year has come and gives us the opportunity to work further on improving the quality of life of people living with chronic pain.
Started at the end of 2011 now we have had a full year in which we formed a solid base to work from. This resulted in collaboration whit research projects, participation in a joint venture and being active on the policy field resulted in having the name Pain Alliance Europe heard in Europe.
With your support and endorsement we can achieve even more. You can help us by providing ideas or pin point on general omissions in your country policy towards chronic pain patients. With that information we can see if this is an issue which is happening in more countries or only in yours. If it is in more countries then we can ask the European parliament and European commission. If it is only in your country we can help your national association to address that problem nationally.
Let us show Europe that chronic pain patients across Europe are normal, intelligent and reasonable people who are willing to discuss whit anyone any matter which can improve the quality of life of people living with chronic pain.
Let us show Europe it is not just one person who is saying that. It is not even thousands of people who are saying that but it are millions of people who are saying that.
Let us show them that chronic pain patients have a voice and they should be listened at.
Pain Alliance Europe wishes the reader of this website a happy and prosperous 2013 for you and your near ones.
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Pain medicine recognition: great news for those in pain
Friday November 2, 2012
Up to one in five New Zealanders estimated to suffer from chronic pain will be the big winners of a Medical Council of New Zealand decision to recognise pain medicine as a specialty in its own right, say pain medicine specialists.
The Medical Council has accredited pain medicine as a scope of practice in New Zealand, giving formal recognition to this medical specialty and its associated qualification. The new scope and qualification come into effect on December 3 this year. The accreditation follows a lengthy application process undertaken by the Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.
“This keenly awaited decision recognises the importance of pain medicine as a field requiring specialised skills and qualities to address the epidemic of people suffering in pain in our communities,” FPM Dean Associate Professor Brendan Moore says. “Pain medicine emphasises a holistic, all-encompassing approach to the management of pain including the physical, psychological and emotional consequences of this common, but poorly understood and under-treated, medical problem.
“This puts the practice of pain medicine in New Zealand on the same footing as in Australia, where it has been recognised as a stand-alone specialist qualification since 2005. There is now a single unified training and accreditation system, and qualification, for recognising pain medicine specialist physicians across Australia and New Zealand.
“Australian and New Zealand specialists with backgrounds in anaesthesia, surgery, rehabilitation medicine, psychiatry and general medicine have worked together for 15 years to establish and progress the training, examination and continuing professional development of pain medicine specialists.
“The Medical Council’s decision recognises these achievements and the expertise of New Zealand specialists who have contributed to the development of this specialty in New Zealand, Australia and internationally. Both our immediate past dean and current vice dean are New Zealanders,” Associate Professor Moore says.
FPM Vice Dean, Professor Ted Shipton of Christchurch, says that while New Zealand already has some pain medicine specialists, lack of formal Medical Council accreditation has limited development of the specialty.
“We expect this recognition to lead to a growth of interest in the specialty and more training places opening up here in New Zealand, where such specialists are desperately needed.”
Professor Shipton says pain is the most common reason for patients consulting health care professionals.
“Data from the 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey showed that one in six New Zealanders (16.9%) suffered from chronic pain, with other estimates putting the figure at about 20 per cent, an incidence that is even higher among the elderly. This makes chronic pain – which has a profound effect on the sufferer, their family and society as a whole – a critical public health problem in New Zealand. “The proper management of pain remains one of the most important obligations of a physician. Acute pain has a warning or protective function but, if not managed properly, it becomes chronic pain,” Professor Shipton explains.
“We can now look forward to better care of all New Zealanders who suffer from pain, provided the Ministry of Health and district health boards pick up the challenge to adequately resource and expand acute and chronic pain management services in New Zealand.”
For more information or to request interviews, please contact ANZCA’s New Zealand Communications Manager, Susan Ewart, on +64 4 499 1213 (work) or +64 27 415 2815 (mobile); or email email@example.com. Follow ANZCA on Twitter @ANZCA.
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New EU Partnership Project on Pain Patient Pathways Recommendations
New EU Partnership Project on Pain Patient Pathways Recommendations
Representatives from patient groups, a civic organisation and industry enter into a new collaborative project to improve the management of chronic pain in the EU
Brussels / Rome / Aachen, 20 November 2012. Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) representing chronic pain patients in Europe, the Active Citizenship Network (ACN) and Grünenthal have entered into an official partnership on the development of European Pain Patient Pathways Recommendations. The project will run until December 2014 and aims to create a greater awareness of chronic pain and to promote European policy-making for improved management of chronic pain.
While the political framework of the project is designed by PAE representing the patients’ voice in Europe, ACN will be responsible for the scientific design, methodology and contents. The pharmaceutical company Grünenthal will be responsible for financial and non-financial support.
“Chronic pain is a significant societal and economic burden in Europe: for the people affected, for their caregivers, but also for our health care systems”, explains Joop van Griensven, PAE President. “PAE’s mission is to improve the quality of life of people who have to live with daily chronic pain. With this partnership, patients all over Europe can work together with all stakeholders to identify the best practice, accessibility and possibilities for effective pain treatment. By doing this, we can develop a proposal for pain management for all European Member States, in a joint and coordinated effort”.
Teresa Petrangolini, ACN Director and Project supervisor, adds: “Civic participation is essential in the public policy-making process: only a holistic approach, respecting all stakeholders involved, can produce realistic models which can be integrated into our health-political systems. ACN has been working in this field for more than 30 years and we are proud to be able to join in this partnership and to support and strengthen the voice of chronic pain patients in Europe.”
Concentrating exclusively on the therapy area of ‘pain’, Grünenthal’s objective is to become the most patient-centric company and a leader in therapy innovation”, comments Alberto Grua, Executive Vice President for Grünenthal Europe & Australia. “We feel privileged to enter into such a promising project which will create a bottom-up approach for effective and holistic pain management, putting the patient in the centre of the whole process. PAE and ACN are two strong and internationally-acting patient and citizens’ groups and we will support their ideas and activities to ensure highest respect of the patients’ needs.”
More information on the project is available at
About Pain Alliance Europe (PAE)
PAE is an NGO umbrella organisation of 23 national associations in 13 EU Member States, representing 275,000 individual patients committed to improve the quality of life of people with chronic pain. For PAE, quality of life for a chronic pain patient means giving the patient the right to choose the best possible solutions and support to live his life according to his possibilities and wishes. PAE was officially founded in the European Parliament hosted by Marian Harkin (MEP, IRE) on November 29th 2011. It aims to promote awareness for chronic pain, to promote a European policy on chronic pain and to reduce the impact of chronic pain on the European society on all areas. More information: www.pae-eu.eu
About Active Citizenship Network (ACN)
ACN was initiated in December 2001 as the European and international interface of the Italian civic participation organisation Cittadinanzattiva (Active Citizenship). ACN is a flexible network of European civic organizations which are involved as partners in its different projects, addressed to encourage active participation of citizens in European policy-making. ACN mirrors Cittadinanzattiva's Italian policies, such as health, consumer protection, corporate social responsibility, education and training at the global level. ACN's mission is to promote and support the construction of the European citizenship as an "active citizenship" which means the exercise of citizens' powers and responsibilities in policy-making. More information: www.activecitizenship.net
The Grünenthal Group is an independent, family-owned international research based pharmaceutical company headquartered in Aachen, Germany. Building on its unique position in pain, its objective is to become the most patient-centric company to be a leader in therapy innovation. Grünenthal is one of the last five research-oriented pharmaceutical corporations with headquarters based in Germany which sustainably invests in research and development. These investments amounted to about 25 % of revenues in 2011. Grünenthal’s research and development strategy concentrates on select fields of therapy and state-of-the-art technologies. We focus on the intensive search for new ways to treat pain better, more effectively and with fewer side-effects than before. Altogether, the Grünenthal Group has affiliates in 26 countries worldwide. Grünenthal products are sold in more than 155 countries and approx. 4,500 employees are working for the Grünenthal Group worldwide. In 2011, Grünenthal reached estimated revenues of 947 Mio €. More information: www.grunenthal.com.
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Signing of the joint venture
PAE agreed on November 13th to participate in the joint venture of Pain Alliance Europe PAE Active Citizen Network ACN and Grünenthal . This Joint venture is been set up in order to realise the project "Pain Patients Pathways Recommendations"
November 13th the president of PAE, Joop van Griensven signed in the presence of the members of PAE, representatives of ACN and Grünenthal the joint venture.
Kristina Barinka (Grünenthal), Joop van Griensven (PAE), Teresa Petrangolini (ACN)
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General Assembly 12 / 13 November 2012 Aachen, Germany
On the 12th of November twenty representatives of 17 different member associations came together to speak about the future of PAE. During this day, which was kindly hosted by Grünenthal, most of the time was spend to discuss activities which could raise the awareness for chronic pain in Europe. The politicians, the policymakers, the industry, the payers, the medical professionals, the researchers and the general public. Although we realized that we were only on a short journey we still did achieve some things which indicates that PAE is known within the stakeholders community. As the plans we have are still in an early phase we would like to point you to keep an eye on the website and find out the new developments.
On the 13th of November the then 22 representatives where informed about the history and future of the SIP symposia. This was kindly done by Kristina Barinka. Konrad Labuschagne could inform us about the future activities of SIP although these were still under construction. At the end the Proceedings of SIP 2012 in Copenhagen were presented.
Then it was up to the joint venture of PAE, ACN and Grünenthal to inform the members about the project "Pain Patients Pathway Recommendations" More on this you can read in the press release. After a much appreciated guided tour on the Grünenthal premises the meeting ended with a lunch and everyone went home.
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President at EFNA General Assembly
President will be present at EFNA General Assembly October 29 and 30 2012 in Brussels Belgium in order to strengthen the relations between both associations.
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President at Stakeholder Meeting
President will be present at the 6th Stakeholder Meeting on the implementation of the new Pharmacovigilance legislation - 8 November 2012 in London.
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General Assembly PAE
General Assembly PAE will be held November 12 and 13 in Aachen at the Grünenthal premises. For more details see the activities.
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President actively involved in patient summit
President will be actively involved in the Patient Summit of Grünenthal on the subject of "unmet needs of chronic pain". His involvement will be in the panel discussion round the first day and as moderator on the second of the workshop "Identify unmet needs in chronic pain community: Tailored treatment versus reimbursement concept" This will be November 28 and 29
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President PAE to speak at the hearing on April 16th 2012
Short report public hearings Changing images of old age-changing the learning paradigm / growing old in good health.
The public hearing was organized by the Coordination group for; " European Year For Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012" and was chaired by Dr. Renate Heinisch, co-president of the coordination group. The meeting started Monday April 16th at 09.30 in the European Economic and Social Committee – Jacques Delors Building in Brussels.
The hearing was spilt up in two parts. The first part attacked the item Changing images of old age – changing the learning paradigm. The second part was on Growing old in good health.
In the first session 3 policy officers from different DG's (EMPL, EAC, RESEARCH) came and explained about the present situation on demographics and other data which are available to make the problem visible and to tell the idea's which were developed to address this situation. Professor Andreas Kruse from the Heidelberg institute of gerontology talked about "Perception of age through age images" Representatives of two NGO's (EAEA, Age platform Europe) told about their accomplishments and their ideas for further activities.
After a lunch break the program was continued with the section on growing old in good health. After hearing ideas on the intensity of the problem now it was the time to tell about the people involved in growing old in good health. First it was Maria Iglesia Gomez from DG SANCO who addressed healthy aging which was followed by Professor Kress intervention on Chronic pain and the health issues involved with that. Then it was time for me to tell about what the chronic pain patients feelings are on growing old in good health and their wish and willingness of being involved in the whole process. The educational issue from both patients as providers and the change of view on chronic pain. After a coffee break this session was followed by interventions of Professor Ulla Walter on "From anti-aging to healthy aging – prevention, patient competence, healthy life years" from Francesca Cerreta from EMA on the safety and effectiveness of drugs for an ageing population. It ended with the message from the EFPIA representative, Brendan Barnes, about the industry's views on growing old in good health.
During the second part of the program pain and specific chronic pain was addressed by all speakers. This alone and the fact that EFIC and PAE were invited to give a presentation shows that the chronic pain issue gets more attention and will be more addressed in the future. This was again an excellent opportunity to get more awareness for chronic pain in a policy exploring event.
Joop van Griensven
President Pain Alliance Europe.
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Short report of the website launch.
On March 28th 2012 Pain Alliance website launch took place at the European Parliament.
The event was chaired by the president of PAE Mr. Joop van Griensven. In his opening statement he welcomed everybody and especially the host for this event Mr. John Higgins MEP from Ireland. He also spoke a word of welcome for the third speaker Mr. Andrew Widger who is the director of media relations for Pfizer for Europe, Middle east and Africa. As he went on he reminded the audience that despite the short existence of PAE a lot of achievements were made since the first meeting of potential members on May second 2011. This launch is the latest in that row. One of which PAE can be proud.
The president introduced Mr. Jim Higgins MEP. He told the listeners the importance for politicians to listen to the people whit chronic pain. He again mentioned the disaster's figures on chronic pain in Europe. The number of people effected and the number of those who could not function proper any more in society. He also memorised the reports which indicated that and also mentioned that early diagnose and adequate treatment could prevent much damage as research shows. He mentioned the excellent magazine from CPI which provides al the facts on pain / pain treatment and referred to commissioner Dalli's words that he called for; "better understanding and management of chronic pain in Europe". He could not agree more whit those words.Mr. John Higgins MEP from Ireland
After this words the president of PAE gave the floor to Andrew Widger whit the request to enlighten us in the digital world of websites and social media. The prize winning Andrew started whit saying that before you get to do something you have to think on who you want to reach and what is your message you want to send out. Having figured that out you have to find a way to get seen / heard by those who you want to reach. Take it step by step and work hard making it a living thing.Mr. Andrew Widger , Director Media relations EMEA Pfizer.
After the speeches from everyone the president continued by giving the audience a first look at the website. It was then that he mentioned the excellent work of the webmaster, Ville Koskilampi. The president went thru all the pages showing them what was achieved.
In the end he thanked al who were present for there support of Pain Alliance Europe.
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PAE's website receives great response
"This website will deliver three key benefits. Firstly, it will make it much easier for MEPs, researchers and policy-makers to access the authentic voice of people in pain. Secondly, it provides a focal point for charities in countries as geographically spread out as Finland, Ireland, Spain and Romania to learn from each other and drive up standards of care. Finally, it will promote understanding of pain as a stand-alone issue that needs to be assessed and understood in terms of its wider impact on society.
On behalf of Pain UK, I offer my congratulations to Joop and the Board of Pain Alliance Europe as they make their first major contribution to the debate."
Sean McDougall chair of Pain UK
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Launch of Pain Alliance Europe Website
Press Release Official website launch of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE)
Pan-European alliance for chronic pain patients launched a new website in EU Parliament Brussels, 28 March, 2012. Invited by Member of European Parliament Jim Higgins MEP (Ireland) Pain Alliance Europe officially launched its new website www.pae-eu.eu in the European Parliament on 28 March 2011. The pan-European network of 18 non-governmental organisations from 11 EU countries was officially founded on 29 November 2011. It aims to bring together national and local organisations and patient groups which represent patient interest in addressing the issue of chronic pain at European level. Already one in every four Europeans is suffering from persistent excruciating pain, 100 million alone in the 27 EU states. "PAE would like to raise awareness for people living under constant pain with neither adequate treatment nor the understanding of what this means to the quality of life of the chronic pain patient," says Joop van Griensven, President of PAE. "Next to the enormous impact chronic pain has on an individual and its social network, chronic pain also causes great economic costs each year. These billions of Euro are being lost due to reduced working productivity or absence from work and due to the extra money spent in the health and social system because of inappropriate diagnose and wrong treatment." 21 % of Europeans with chronic pain are unable to work and of those who are, 61% said it had directly impacted their employment status. According to the Pain Proposal European Consensus Report chronic pain could be costing Europe as much as EUR 300 billion annually. Prevalence of the severe pain is highest in Norway, followed by Poland and Italy. Speaking at the launch Andy Widger, Pfizer's Director of Media Relations, EMEA, said: "The joint 'Can you feel my pain campaign' initiative has demonstrated the value that can be created by harnessing the collaborative nature of the internet and social media. Pfizer is delighted to see the launch of Pain Alliance Europe's new site, and hope that it will help facilitate even greater collaboration between stakeholders in representing, and addressing the needs of, chronic pain patients across Europe." Launch of Pain Alliance Europe Website
P7C050, Paul-Henri Spaak
European Parliament, Brussels
Wednesday, 28th March
14:00-15:00 Further information or registration at:
Joop van Griensven
President Pain Alliance Europe firstname.lastname@example.org
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Official website launch of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) Pan-European alliance for chronic pain patients launched a new website in EU Parliament
Brussels, 28 March, 2012. Invited by Member of European Parliament Jim Higgins MEP (Ireland) Pain Alliance Europe officially launched its new website www.pae-eu.eu in the European Parliament on 28 March 2011. The pan-European network of 18 non-governmental organisations from 11 EU countries was officially founded on 29 November 2011. It aims to bring together national and local organisations and patient groups which represent patient interest in addressing the issue of chronic pain at European level.
Already one in every four Europeans is suffering from persistent excruciating pain, 100 million alone in the 27 EU states. "PAE would like to raise awareness for people living under constant pain with neither adequate treatment nor the understanding of what this means to the quality of life of the chronic pain patient," says Joop van Griensven, President of PAE. "Next to the enormous impact chronic pain has on an individual and its social network, chronic pain also causes great economic costs each year. These billions of Euro are being lost due to reduced working productivity or absence from work and due to the extra money spent in the health and social system because of inappropriate diagnose and wrong treatment."
21 % of Europeans with chronic pain are unable to work and of those who are, 61% said it had directly impacted their employment status. According to the Pain Proposal European Consensus Report chronic pain could be costing Europe as much as EUR 300 billion annually. Prevalence of the severe pain is highest in Norway, followed by Poland and Italy.
Speaking at the launch Andy Widger, Pfizer's Director of Media Relations, EMEA, said: "The joint 'Can you feel my pain campaign' initiative has demonstrated the value that can be created by harnessing the collaborative nature of the internet and social media. Pfizer is delighted to see the launch of Pain Alliance Europe's new site, and hope that it will help facilitate even greater collaboration between stakeholders in representing, and addressing the needs of, chronic pain patients across Europe."
Launch of Pain Alliance Europe Website P7C050, Paul-Henri Spaak European Parliament, Brussels Wednesday, 28th March 14:00-15:00
Further information or registration at:
Joop van Griensven
Socio-economic Consequences of Pain-Intensive Diseases in Denmark
With this title the Danish Institute for health services produced a report on the social and economical costs of Chronic pain patients. This report is published by the “Dansk Sundhedinstitut” in December 2011.
Some of the most interesting findings were the productivity losses and the annual disease-attributable costs of pain-intensive diseases.
For the full report follow this link.
The summery can be downloaded here.
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Launch of Pain Alliance Europe PAE successful
The launch of PAE in the European Parliament on November 29th 2011 was successful. More people attended the meeting as foreseen and the speakers were very much involved with the reasons of creating PAE. The speakers Dr. Mary Baker, President of EFNA highlighted the process which lead to Pain Alliance Europe. MEP Marian Harkin, who hosted the launch, pointed out how unpredictable chronic pain is as we could experience today. Prof. Dr. Hans Kress, president of EFIC congratulated Pain Alliance Europe and whished for a good relation between EFIC and PAE. Dr Albrecht Werner from the European commission DG SANCO was asking for a strong voice from the patients in Europe so they could provide the necessary information to develop strategy's. Overall a very successful meeting.
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First General Assembly of PAE on November 29th
The first General Assembly was held after the launch in the European parliament on November 29th 2011 in Brussels. The General assembly agreed on the statutes and choose a president and board as mentioned by About us. The same members who were present at the launch were present at the General Assembly. The Chair for this first meeting was done by Dr. Mary Baker who had a great involvement by the development of PAE.
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Pain Alliance Europe an official organisation aisbl
On February 8th 2012 we received official notice that the King agreed whit the incorporation of Pain Alliance as an International non-profit organisation. Also we received notice of the court of commerce Brussels that we were registered with the aisbl number 0843.498.142 From this moment on we are an official alliance.
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President PAE Meats board EFIC
On Friday 24th the president of PAE Mr. Joop van Griensven was invited to present PAE to the board of EFIC. During this meting the cooperation between the two associations were discussed and especially the fields in which we could support each other. The meeting was very successful and will probably lead to a good and healthy relation between the two natural partners.