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Monthly Newsletter edited by Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network
Civic Activism | Patients' Rights | Consumers' Rights | Support ACN
Year 7th, number 74 - November 2019

Digital health solutions to fight pain awarded at the European level

We are at the Second Edition of the European Civic Prize on Chronic Pain promoted by Active Citizenship Network and managing to carry out this work by expanding the number of experiences collected is a source of pride. For 40 good practices collected around Europe, there will be another 4,000 or 400,000 that we have missed, and in the end we hope so.
We will strive to recover and promote as many as possible, being aware of the fact that from year to year the constituency of the actors sensitive to the fight against pain is widening and becoming stronger and stronger: we are very happy of this result, given the role we plan to play in this area.
We like to think that good practices are also a small, but significant indicator of the health status of our healthcare systems, which have long been under pressure between the need for economic sustainability and high expectations of the population. Read more


Award ceremony of the II° Edition of the EU Civic Prize on Chronic Pain
On the 6th November in the Framework of the 2nd edition of the “EU Civic Prize on Chronic Pain - Collection of good practices”, promoted by Active Citizenship Network, the four best practices in the field of pain were awarded at the Concert Noble in Brussels. The ceremony took place the 6th November in Brussels in the framework of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) 2019 Symposium. The aim of the prize is to highlight existing good practices in several European countries in terms of struggle against pain.
Here you can find the programme of the ceremony and all the related documents.

Award Ceremony of the II° Edition of the
“EU Civic Prize on Chronic Pain - Collection of good practices” 6th November 2019
Concert Noble, Brussels

Prof. Bart Morlion, President – European Pain Federation (EFIC)

Mark Fladrich, Chief Commercial Officer – Grünenthal GmbH

Liisa Jutila, Vice President  - Pain Alliance Europe (PAE)

Antonio Gaudioso, Secretary General - Cittadinanzattiva

Beverly Collett, President of the Jury and chair of the ceremony. Read her welcoming address and introduction of the award

See the video of "MyDystonia”, winner for the category PATIENTS’ EMPOWERMENT
Price giving by Liisa Jutila  (Pain Alliance Europe) & Ilaria Giannico (Secretary-general - European Union of Private Hospitals) members of the Jury panel.
Winners called at the stage to withdraw the prize: Monika Benson Executive Director Dystonia Europe, Belgium.

See the video of “DTX FOR PAIN”, winner for the category INNOVATION
Price giving by Jordi Moya (EU multidisciplinary network in pain research and education) & Gemma Fernandez (General Manager -Sine Dolore Foundation) members of the Jury panel.
Winners called on the stage to withdraw the prize: Marine Cotty – Eslous Director of Lucine Group, France.

See the video of “RED App”, winner for the category PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION
Price giving by Kalina Timinski (Board Officer  - European Headache and Migraine Alliance (EHMA) & Tomas Toelle (Executive Board large member, The European Pain Federation EFIC) members of the Jury panel.
Winner called at the stage to withdraw the prize: Paolo Notaro Pain Care Unit Director Niguarda Hospital, Italy.

See the video of “Rise-uP”, winner for the category CLINICAL PRACTICES
Prize giving by Alba Malara (Scientific Coordinator -European Confederation of care home organization) & Pascal Garel (Secretary-General - European Hospital and health care federation) members of the Jury panel.
Winner called at the stage to withdraw the prize: Janosch Priebe Senior research fellow, Center of  Interdisciplinary Pain Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Germany.

Gary Surmay, Sr. Director, Corporate Affairs - Pfizer

Mariano Votta, Director - Active Citizenship Network. Read his final remarks

To see the pictures of the event, click here
To see the photo gallery on FB, click here
To view the video with all the best practices, click here
To view the interviews, click here
For the press release, click here

Press Review:

Report published by ACN with 40 good practices is online
Throughout 2018 and 2019, Active Citizenship Network collected 40 good practices coming from 12 different countries: Spain (13), Italy (10), Portugal (5)  Belgium (3), France (2), Malta (1), Sweden (1),  Germany (1), The Netherlands (1), Ireland (1), UK (1), and an extra EU country (1 from the Dominican Republic). ACN published a report of all the good practices that participated in the Second Edition of the EU Civic Prize. To download the Final Report, click here.

Four honorary members join the Pain Euro-Mediterranean Coalition
The four winners of the EU Civic Prize on Chronic Pain were recognized as honorary members of the Pain Euro-Mediterranean Coalition. The Coalition is the first civic agora of managers of good practices against pain across Europe. It is a community promoted by ACN together with Sine Dolore European Pain Foundation. The goals of the Pain Euro-Mediterranean Coalition are to make the invisible visible on pain, to encourage the exchange of experiences among health professionals, healthcare providers, Institutions, civic associations and Patient Advocacy Groups, and to provide longer life to the successful initiatives related to pain. To read more, click here

SIP 2019 Symposium

More than 210 persons have registered to the international SIP 2019 Symposium on November 7 in Brussels titled “Bringing Pain Policy to the next Decade”, and many followed the event via live stream. Have a look at the impressions from the Opening Ceremony on November 6 in the Concert Noble where the winners of the 2nd edition of the EU Civic Prize on Chronic Pain, led by Active Citizenship Network, were awarded, and also the impressions from the SIP 2019 Symposium on November 7.
The Secretary General of Cittadinanzattiva was involved in the opening ceremony on November 6, while the Director of Active Citizenship Network was involved on November 7 for the introductory remarks “sip 10th anniversary: past, present, and future”. To read his speech, click here.
Watch the “10 Years SIP video” to see what was achieved by SIP in the past 10 years. Yet, there are more goals ahead. During the symposium, the preliminary results of the 2019 European Survey on National Pain Plans on national that SIP is carrying out have been presented. Surveys are very important to the work of SIP, as they allow for policy recommendations based on citizens needs. The full report of the survey will be published during the next year. The work of SIP considers four pillars to be of particular relevance to pain policy; Pain research, Pain education, Pain and employment and pain as a health quality indicator. Experts held presentations,  and four posters giving an overview of the topic were presented; the Symposium was preceded by a workshop on tackling the stigma of living with chronic pain.

Here you can find all available materials related to the plenary sessions on the SIP website under the following links:

Press Review (only in IT language)

To know more, read about the involvement of Active Citizenship Network in SIP

Patients' Rights

Scientific journal publishes article by ACN on Digital Health solutions on chronic pain
The scientific journal “Advances in Health and Behaviour” published an article ACN wrote about the Digital Health solutions which were awarded at the European Civic Prize on Pain. The article discusses the European Civic Prize on pain, as well as the development in the field towards M-Health. To read our article, click here.

(In the picture: the three authors together with the editor-in-chief of the journal)

EU advocacy summit on pain
On the 6th and 7th of November 2019 Active Citizenship Network had the opportunity to speak about its advocacy strategy in the framework of a European pain advocacy summit. ACN presented its national and European advocacy strategy and the results so far. It is fundamental that patient participation is guaranteed in policy-making, and that a bottom-up approach is adopted.  To know more about ACN’ activity focused on addressing the patients’ right to avoid pain, click here.

European Best Practices Portal introduces “pain” as a category
Cittadinanzattiva-ACN is happy to announce that in 2020, the European Commission Public Health Best Practices Portal will introduce “pain” as a keyword. This allows visitors to better find best practices. The Best Practices Portal aims to contribute to the diffusion of Best Practices on a European level in order to help patients. To try out the Best Practices Portal, click here.

Hypnosis in pain therapy
Pain expert Professor Giuseppe De Benedittis was interviewed about the use of hypnosis in pain therapy and hypnoanalysis. He published a book about the evidence-based use of hypnosis to allievate pain, and is fighting for the recognition of hypnosis by the WHO. You can see the full interview here. (IT)

From cone snail venom to pain relief
Conotoxins are bioactive peptides found in the venom that marine cone snails produce for prey capture and defense. They are used to study pain signalling and have the potential to become a new class of analgesics. Associate Professor Markus Muttenthaler from the University of Vienna and his colleagues from the University of Queensland in Austral have provided an overview on the status quo of conotoxin research in the journal "Chemical Reviews." To know more about Conotoxins and their use in the study of pain, click here.

Analysis finds dorsal root ganglion stimulation “safe and effective” for multiple chronic pain disorders
Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation is a safe and effective therapy for multiple chronic pain disorders, according to an analysis published in Neuromodulation. The authors, Frank Huygen (Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands) emphasises that stimulation modulators treatments should be tailored to conditions. Read more

Virtual reality might help people combat chronic pain
Researches from Imperial College London have found that using virtual reality headsets to watch immersive 360 videos of idyllic Arctic scenes could help to combat chronic pain. In a small study, published in Pain Reports,a VR video was used to reduce peoples’ scores of perceived ongoing pain as well their sensitivity to painful stimuli. Read more

Research on acute neuropathic pain published
Acute neuropathic pain: equivalent or different to chronic neuropathic pain? A call for gathering of scientifically based information on acute neuropathic pain. To read the research published by "Pain", the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain, click here

Network News

Italy: local network for palliative care patients launched
In the city of Fermo, Cittadinanzattiva is taking part in a network of civic actors, healthcare organizations and other stakeholders. The aim of the network is to collaborate on the topic of palliative care, and an 18-month project has been launched, which includes workshops for volunteers. If you want to know more about this, read this press article (IT).

Italy: meeting to share innovative practices to manage pain
New innovative ultrasound-guided pain therapies can reduce the use of prescription drugs and their side effects.  To discuss this, Cittadinanzattiva organized a meeting on the 8th of November in L’Aquila, in cooperation with the local health board.  Read more (IT language)


Capital cities tour across Europe on vaccination
Active Citizenship Network is ready to start its capital cities tour across Europe to share experiences, strengthen partnership & advocate for the importance of vaccination across Europe: immunization is vital to prevent diseases and protect life. In particular, the goal of the tour is to raise awareness about the importance of a life-course immunization approach and to promote citizen involvement on the topic.  By the end of the year, meetings are planned in Madrid, Varsavia, Budapest and Dublin. The tour is part of the EU project European Active Citizens for Vaccination. To know more click here.

26th November, Madrid (Spain): Focus group on the life-course approach to vaccination
In the framework of “European active citizens for vaccination” project, ACN is happy to co-organize a workshop with national experts on vaccination. The goal of the workshop is to gather and share best practices and policies in vaccination. The focus of the workshop is the life-course approach to vaccination, and is carried out together with ACN local partners: the Spanish Patient Forum and the Spanish Meningitis Association. To know more about ACN engagement on vaccination, click here

28th of January, 2020, Brussels (Belgium): Joined for Vaccination
Active Citizenship Network is organizing a public event at the EU Parliament focused on addressing vaccine hesitancy and increasing uptake in the EU from a multi-stakeholder perspective.
The event will be hosted by MEP Brando Benifei, who is part of European Parliament Interest Group for European Patients Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare. The speakers, who are healthcare professionals, business representatives, policymakers and civic leaders, will discuss the public perception and the institutional commitment around vaccination. The event is an opportunity to share best practices among all stakeholders involved in the field of citizens engagement on vaccination. If you are interested in signing up for the event, click here.
To know more about our commitment on vaccination, visit our website, or read last month’s newsletter.


Director and Editor in chief: Mariano Votta
Editors: Daniela Quaggia, Riccardo Schwarz
Coordination and Production: Giacomo D'Orazio 

To contribute, plase write to: mail@activecitizenship.net

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Tel: (+39) 340 84 65 097 Mail: brussels@activecitizenship.net