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 Societal Impact of Pain (SIP)

A Multi-Stakeholder Platform in Europe

The "Societal Impact of Pain" (SIP) is an international platform created in 2010 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. For more information please visit the SIP website.

Societal Impact of Pain” (SIP) 2016: “Time for action





  1. Pain as a quality indicator for health care
  2. Chronic Pain: a disease or multi-morbidity?
  3. The relevance of pain in cancer care and rehabilitation
  4. Pain, rehabilitation and reintegration of workers in the working force


Anyone actively involved in shaping future pain policy e.g. health care professionals, politicians, representatives of pain advocacy groups, insurances, health authorities, regulators and budget holders


2016, May 23 & 24


  • May 23: European Parliament, 60 rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat 60, B-1047 - Bruxelles/Brussels
  • May 24: Concert Noble, Rue d'Arlon 82-84, B-1040 - Bruxelles/Brussels

Due to the limited space available and restriction on number of external visitors to the European Parliament, participation at SIP 2016 will be confirmed by the organisers after registration. Seats will be assigned to active participants (e.g. speakers, working group members) first, the remaining seats will be assigned on a “first come, first served” base. Participation is free, although participants will need to cover their own travel costs.

You can find the abstract and background booklet for SIP 2016 here: 

For registration: After receipt of application for registration you will be notified on the status of your registration.

The scientific framework of the “Societal Impact of Pain” (SIP) platform is under the responsibility of the European Pain Federation EFIC®. Cooperation partners for SIP 2016 are Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) and Active Citizenship Network (ACN).The pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH is responsible for funding and non-financial support (e.g. logistical support). The scientific aims of the SIP symposia have been endorsed by a large number of international and national pain advocacy groups, scientific organisations and authorities.

For further information please visit the SIP website at: or contact:

European Civic Prize on Chronic Pain - Collecting Good Practices


In the media[tt_news]=663&cHash=28e15de1dc5cafd3e4e8d16b8bc888a4

SIP 2016 - Policy Recommendations

Please find an overview on the 8 policy recommendations agreed upon during SIP 2016 here. Check out the SIP website for more details and information.

 SIP Symposium 2014


Programme of the SIP Symposium 2014 - video

SIP Symposiom 2014 - Interactive Panel Discussions

Pain therapy and palliative care are listed as healthcare priorities during the Italian Presidency of the EU Council in the second semester of 2014. This is exciting because for the first time ever all EU Ministers of Health discussed on the 22nd of September how to direct national and European strategies and health policies to address the need for improved pain care in Europe.

This year the programme committee decided to celebrate the 5th SIP symposium by inviting Nick Ross, widely regarded as one of the most professional conference moderators in the world. There was a brave decision to break away completely from the traditional format by inviting leading European stakeholders to join a series of provocative and audience interactive panel discussions and interviews. The aim will be to define what needs to be done now to ensure that chronic pain and palliative care will receive the priority on the agenda of the EU institutions and the member states also in the long term.


Aims of the SIP Platform

 The European, multi-stakeholder platform Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) was created in 2010 as a joint initiative of the European Pain Federation EFIC® and the pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH. The aims are to:

  • raise awareness of the relevance of the impact of that pain has on our societies, health and economic systems;
  • exchange information and share best-practices across all member states of the European Union;
  • develop and foster European –wide policy strategies & activities for an improved pain care in Europe.

As a multi-stakeholder platform SIP provides opportunities for discussion for health care professionals, pain advocacy groups, politicians; insurances, representatives of health authorities, regulators and budget holders. The scientific framework of the SIP platform thereby is under the responsibility of EFIC®. Grünenthal is responsible for funding and non-financial support (e.g. logistical support)

More information:


Endorsement of the SIP Platform

> 180 international organisations. A list of our endorsers can be found on the website.


Speech of Italian Minister of Health, Beatrice Lorenzin

download the speech



Panel Discussion 1:
Out of sight, out of mind - why the reluctance to see pain as a cretical issue?

Panel Discussion 1: Out of sight, out of mind - why the relctance to  see pain a s critcal issue?

Hans Kress, David Hughes, Neil Betteridge, Maria Teresa Garcia Baquero, Shelagh Wright


Panel Discussion 2:
Good practice - how do we stimulate innovation and accelerate the replication?

Chris Wells, Meherzin Das, Audrey Craven, Orsi Nagy, Jomie O'Hara


 Aims - Panel 1

  • Confirming briefly the key facts relating to the impact of chronic pain on European society from different perspectives
  • Elaborate a better understanding of why there is such a reluctance to see chronic pain as a critical issue
  • Understand the major hurdles that should be address in order to elevate the importance of pain therapy and palliative care at both the EU and member state level



Aims - Panel 2

  • What are the real hurdles that are preventing the widespread uptake of the examples of good practise considering that the value and importance of early intervention and the prevention of chronification of pain is well documented.
  • Excellent examples of good practise exist and were reported on at previous SIP meetings. It will be important to understand how the SIP stakeholders can work with the European Commission to support the wider replication of the cases collected by the B3 Action Group on integrated care.
  • Why if effective treatments and strategies exist are these not being implemented effectively or with equity across Europe?
  • Explore what is needed to stimulate a fresh wave of innovation that will inspire better outcomes for patients?


Panel Discussion 3:
Outcome of the Italian PResidency's discussion on Pain and Palliative Care at the informal Ministerial Council. What now?

Giustino Varrassi, Rolf-Detlef Treede, Robert Johnstone, Willem Scholten, Paloma Casado Durandez



Panel Discussion 4:
The Future: How can stakeholders advocating for the recognition of pain in Europe work together to ensure change?

Bart Morlion, Marian Harkin, Neil Betteridge, Guido Fanelli, Günter Danner


 Aims - Panel 3

  • Provide a platform to the Italian Presidency of the EU Council for furthering their political objective which is to ensure that pain and palliative care will receive a high priority on the agenda of the member states and also the European institutions in the future.
  • Define the role that the SIP partners and endorsers can play to ensure the outcomes from the efforts and the work of the Italian Presidency will be used to ensure new forward momentum in the advocacy work for improved recognition for the need to ensure improved pain policy and treatment in Europe.


 Aims - Panel 4

  • Identify how each stakeholder group will define success in 1-2 years time?
  • What could be done to ensure that the broad alliance of organisations in Europe working towards improved pain care and pain policies can collaborate closer in the future?
  • Define what are the priorities that each stakeholder group should address in their own camp to ensure that patients can look forward to real progress and positive change in pain therapy and palliative care?
  • Define what needs to be done urgently to bring new fresh momentum to the advocacy work on Chronic Pain


 * note: all pictures are EFIC® copyright






 SIP Symposium 2013

 SIP 2013 Impression Trailer 

SIP 2013 Supplement

please be informed about the latest updates on the SIP Website:
·         Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers endorses SIP 2013. Read here.
·         Europe: Civic Survey on Patient's Rights for the Respect of Unnecessary Pain in Europe – preliminary results as presented during SIP 2013. Read more.
SIP 2013:
·         Video: Recall what happened in Brussels! Watch the complete interactive Working Session & Discussions of both days SIP 2013. View here.
·         German Translation of SIP Proposal for Action (“Handlungsplan”):Read here.
·         Endorser News:
-          New brochure Pain Alliance Europe (PAE). Read more
-          Austria: New campaign "Allianz Chronischer Schmerz Österreich". Sign the signature campaign „Together we are strong“. Read more.
·         Global Pain News:
-          Ireland: Pain Medicine to be recognized as medical specialty; A program of consultation was launched by the Medical Council to recognize Pain Medicine as a separate medical specialty. Read more.
·         Latest press release / Press Release by topic:
-          Dutch, French and Flemish translation of the SIP 2013 Press Release (May).Read more.





Following three European SIP symposia between 2010-2012, this year for the first time the SIP Programme Committee has decided to invite to the so-called "SIP Focus Groups", which will take place on May 14-15, 2013 in Brussels in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and in the EU Parliament.

The two Focus Groups will concentrate on two topics: "Pain as Quality Indicator of Outcome" and "Chronic Pain in the Working Population". More information on the registration procedure and the two Focus Groups' topics can be found in the SIP 2013 Preliminary Programme (daily updated). 

Interested stakeholders wishing to attend Focus Group 2 can register now using the SIP 2013 Focus Group 2 Registration (first come - first serve, closing 30 April).

Press Release:

Final SIP Focus Group Press Release 06 03 2013





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