Europe’s Pain Experts to Gather in Brussels for ‘Societal Impact of Pain’ Symposium

Europe’s Pain Experts to Gather in Brussels for ‘Societal Impact of Pain’ Symposium

The European Pain Federation (EFIC) and partners will highlight the socioeconomic burdens and policy solutions of chronic pain, at the 6th European Symposium ‘Societal Impact of Pain (SIP 2016): Time for Action,’ May 23 – 24 in Brussels. The event will bring together pain experts, patients representatives and policy makers from throughout Europe.

Chronic pain is significant in Europe where nearly 20% of the adult population suffer from the condition characterized as recurring pain over three months or longer. About 9% of the European population experience pain every day.

“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,” EFIC’s President Dr. Chris Wells said in a press release. “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.”

It is estimated that chronic pain accounts for 500 million sick days per year. It is the most frequent cause of early retirement. The direct and indirect costs of chronic pain are estimated to be 1.5% to 3% of the total European gross domestic product (GDP).

Bart Morlion, the EU liaison officer and president-elect of the EFIC, said the SIP 2016 symposium aims to engage stakeholder groups in future policy making.

“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,” Morlion said.

The following are SIP 2016 focus topics:

  • The debate around pain, rehabilitation and reintegration of workers in the workforce.
  • Chronic Pain: a disease or an underlying symptom?
  • The relevance of pain management in cancer care and rehabilitation.
  • Pain as a quality indicator for health care.

SIP 2016 has confirmed speakers including MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) from ten European nations; leading researchers and experts of chronic pain;  patient organization representatives, and senior commission representatives.

EFIC will be in charge of SIP 2016’s scientific framework along with Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) and Active Citizenship Network (CAN). The pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH is supporting the symposium with funding and logistics.

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