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New EU mandate can provide relief for Europe’s most productivity-destroying disease

Brussels, 6 November

Tomorrow, the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) platform will bring together hundreds of chronic pain advocates from around the EU at a high-level symposium in Brussels to present a clear call to action to European policy makers.

“The new European Parliament and Commission have a real opportunity to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of EU citizens and save billions in taxpayer money,” says Prof Brona Fullen, President-elect of European Pain Federation EFIC®.

The WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD) recently classified ‘chronic primary pain’, not as a symptom of another condition, but as a disease in its own right.

One in five Europeans live with chronic pain. Chronic pain accounts for almost 50% of all absences from work and 60% of permanent work incapacity[1]. The estimated direct and indirect healthcare costs for chronic pain disorders in European Member States vary between 2% and 3% of GDP across the EU [2].

“The SIP platform is coming to the table with clear recommendations to better mitigate the impacts of pain. This was co-created with more than 300 patient organisations, medical associations and other civil society groups. We just need policy makers with the political will to enact them.”

The SIP Symposium will address four priorities:

  • Developing better healthcare quality indicators to measure the impact pain
  • Improving pain education for healthcare professionals, patients and the general public
  • Investing in pain research at EU and national level
  • Improving employment conditions for people with chronic pain

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Journalists are invited to attend the 2019 SIP Symposium. Please email Lawrence Muskitta at for press registration.


About the SIP platform 

SIP is a multi-stakeholder group that is endorsed by more than 300 organisations. These include policymakers, patient organisations, medical associations and other civil society groups. 

The objective of SIP is to raise awareness of the impact that pain has on our societies, health and economic systems, to exchange information and share best-practices on pain policies, and, based on this evidence, foster adequate policy actions taking into account the personal, economic and social burden of pain. 

The Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) is a joint campaign with four key partners: the European Pain Federation (EFIC®) which is in charge of the scientific content; Pain Alliance Europe, which represents the perspective of the patient living with chronic pain; Active Citizenship Network, which unites the voice and rights of citizens in Europe; and Grünenthal GmbH which provides logistic and organisational support to the campaign. 

For more information please visit:


[1] Bevan, S. (2013). Reducing temporary work absence through early intervention: The case of MSDs in the EU. The Work Foundation, 2. Available at: 

[2] Eccleston, C., Wells, C., & Morlion, B. (2017). European Pain Management. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780198785750 Available at:

New EU mandate can provide relief for Europe’s most productivity-destroying disease

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Last Updated: 08-Nov-2019