Brussels, Belgium (23,24 May 2016)
The SIP 2016 meeting was a two day event which EAN endorsed and agreed to participate in.
Prof. David B. Vodušek, Chair of the EAN Liaison Committee, took actively part in the meeting as a speaker and Working Group leader.
The “Societal Impact of Pain” (SIP) is an international platform created in 2010 as a joint initiative of EFIC – European Pain Federation and the pharmaceutical Grünenthal GmbH and aims for:
• raising awareness of the relevance of the impact that pain has on our societies, health and economic systems
• exchanging information and sharing best-practices across all member states of the European Union
• developing and fostering European-wide policy strategies & activities for an improved pain care in Europe (Pain Policy).
The platform provides opportunities for discussion for health care professionals, pain advocacy groups, politicians, insurances, representatives of health authorities, regulators and budget holders.
The first day event took place at the European Parliament and was an epitome of successful lobbying for a health related issue (in this case chronic pain). Prof. Vodušek, chair of the Working Group 2: »Chronic pain: disease or symptom« contributed in particular on the topic of »neuropathic pain.The workshop allowed ample time for a moderated discussion. The fact sheet on »Chronic pain: disease or symptom« can be found here.
The second day, held at the Concert Noble, was a continuation of the previous day with further contributions and support of several parlamentarians. Alfred Sant, MEP and former prime minister of Malta, confirmed that his government will invite SIP to host their 2017 symposium in Malta during the Maltese presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The SIP 2016 meeting allowed EAN to contribute to the advancement of accepting chronic pain (inclusive of neuropathic) to the EU agenda. The main outcome of the SIP 2016 meeting, 8 policy recommendations that can be viewed here.
During the 2nd Congress in Copenhagen, EAN and EFIC signed a Memorandum of Understanding.