In its fourth year of existence, Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) is again face with several challenges. However, this year also proved that although young in years, PAE has become a strong organization with a committed board and members. Together we succeed in getting the name of PAE known across the European institutions – a result of which we may be proud.
Joop van Griensven
Click here to read PAE 2015 Operational plan
Click here to read the PAE Activity report 2014
On May 12th, Joop van Griesven attended the 9th European Patients’ Rights Day, held in the European Parliament and organized by Antonio Gaudioso, Secretary General of Cittadinanzattiva, and Mariano Votta, Director of Active Citizenship Network.
The Event was co-hosted by MEP David Borrelli Co-Chair of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group and MEP Gianni Pittella, Chair of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.
On April 8th, Joop van Griesven and Cristina Fernández met Mr Richard Hancock of GHB, Mr Stuart Ratcliffe and Mr Shoona Vincent of MAC Plc and Mr Theo Meert of Johnson & Johnson. They asked PAE to collaborate with MAC Clinical Research in a project of 4 years’ time to improve the prescriptions of chronic pain in Europe.
Pain Alliance Europe President Joop van Griesven was one of the speakers at the German Pain Congress 2015. This was in Frankfurt/Main from the 4th March to the 7th March for the German Pain League. He talked about the different attitude towards chronic pain patients across Europe.
Liisa Mikkonen and Soledad García Penalta represented PAE at the next Patient Consumer Working Party/ Health Care Professionals Working Party (PCWP/HCPWP) joint meeting of the European Medicines Agency on 4th March and at the Information Session on Biosimilars on 5th March 2015 in London. The goal was to spread the European activity of PAE between the Board members as another lobbying experience.
On March 9th- 10th, Viorica Cursaru represented PAE at the European Summit of Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing took place in Brussels. The Summit was organized by the European Commission in the framework of the strategy Europe 2020.
The first Pain Alliance Europe Board meeting of the year was in February 25th at the office in Diegem. It was combined with the launch of the Interest Group in Brain, Mind and Pain held in February 24th.
In the beginning of 2015, PAE started with 7 board members: Joop van Griensven (president), Viorica Cursaru (treasurer), Liisa Mikkonen, Marisol Garcia Penalta, Mariano Votta, Marian Nicholson and Hilda Wieberneit-Tolman.
During the Board meeting in February 2015, the Board accepted the proposal of Liisa Mikkonen of becoming the PAE Vice-president. Marian Nicholson has also become the Secretary Honoree.
On February 12th, Cristina Fernández attended the Public hearing Long-term social care and deinstitutionalisation in the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.
On February 19th, the Interest Group on Brain, Mind and Pain met the Health Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, in the European Commission. He suggested that the Interest Group should be very flexible in working with other stakeholders to reach its objectives. He was very enthusiastic with the initiative and the Interest Group is fully endorsed by the Commission. The Interest Group is currently thinking how to influence other areas (such as Employment, Social Affairs, Healthcare or Research and Innovation) and Directorate-Generals (DGs) of the European Commission to achieve success.
On the morning of the February 24th, between 12.00hrs and 17.00hrs, Pain Alliance Europe, representing the Interest Group, and Grünenthal exhibited the Pain Box in the framework of the campaign “My Pain feels like” in the lobby of the European Parliament.
On the evening, the European Federation of Neurological Associations and Pain Alliance Europe launched the new MEP Interest Group on Brain, Mind and Pain from 18.00hrs at the Thon Hotel EU. It included the presentation of a ‘Book of Evidence’ outlining not only the current challenges faced in the field of neurological and chronic pain, but also exploring possible solutions. The Interest Group is co-chaired by MEPs Marian Harkin, Jeroen Lenaers and Daciana Octavia Sârbu, who also attended this event as well as three other MEPs and three assistants (and apologies from 5 MEPs).
Concerning the MEP Interest Group on Brain, Mind and Pain, some meetings with different MEPs took place in January in the European Parliament in Brussels and in Strasbourg to look for support and advice. At the same time the logo, the visual identity, some deliverables and the website were created.
On January 13th and 14th, over 40 MEPs signed the Register of Supporters for the Interest Group. This happened in the European Parliament at Strasbourg during a two-day promotional event.