Chronic pain is part of the list of priorities of the EU during the Italian Presidency, which will begin in July 2014. Accordingly, and for the first time, the issue will be brought to the attention of all EU health ministers.
This important sign is contained in the Report about the programmatic participation in the European Union for the year 2014, which sets out guidelines and priorities in respect of that activity of the European Union, to developments in the European integration process and to each public policy initiative of the Union.
For all those who have worked in this important result is certainly gratifying, but it is also and above all a not insignificant challenge that lies ahead: to reduce the impact of chronic pain in Europe by ensuring that the right to avoid unnecessary suffering is guaranteed everywhere and to everyone.
At present, unfortunately, the situation is not as well as the Survey carried out in 18 countries by Active Citizenship Network and Pain Alliance Europe has highlighted, with serious repercussions not only from the social point of view but also the economic one, as was reported a few days ago by a study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and presented to the European Parliament.
Therefore, it is time to join forces and work as a team. Months ago, a multi-stakeholder platform including leaders of civic organizations and patients with a score of Nations, the European network of professionals, Health Ministry officials of some European countries, representatives of EU institutions and the industrial world came together to discuss on the main challenges and possible joint actions in the field of the fight against chronic pain.
Civic recommendations have emerged, requiring urgent action at national and EU level to privilege, raise awareness, educate, stimulate research and data collection in the field of chronic pain, which affects about 20% of the adult population in Europe.
The challenge is long and difficult, those who want to help to deal with it is welcomed.
Mariano Votta, Director Active Citizenship Network