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Airing Pain 36: Societal Impact of Pain

Eval­u­at­ing the cost of chron­ic pain to soci­ety and improv­ing pub­lic health pol­i­cy on pain

This pro­gramme was fund­ed by an edu­ca­tion­al grant from Grünenthal.

In this pro­gramme we explore issues affect­ing the man­age­ment of chron­ic pain across the diverse soci­eties of Europe.

In May 2012 over 400 del­e­gates rep­re­sent­ing 35 Euro­pean coun­tries met in Copen­hagen at the third Soci­etal Impact of Pain con­fer­ence organ­ised by EFIC (the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of the Inter­na­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion for the Study of Pain Chap­ters). Air­ing Pain was there to lis­ten in and speak to patient groups and lead­ing experts on pain and pub­lic health pol­i­cy from across the con­ti­nent. We hear how chron­ic pain accounts for 500 mil­lion lost work­ing days in the Euro­pean Union every year, cost­ing the EU econ­o­my over 34 bil­lion Euros.

Inter­vie­wees talk about the strengths and weak­ness­es of pain man­age­ment in their part of the con­ti­nent, includ­ing Ital­ian suc­cess­es in rais­ing polit­i­cal inter­est in pain treat­ment and a shin­ing exam­ple of good prac­tice in Kirklees, Yorkshire.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Soci­ety, pol­i­cy, eco­nom­ic impact, pain as a con­di­tion in its own right, coun­tries in Europe, patient voice, GPs, co-mor­bidi­ties, elder­ly peo­ple and unemployment.


  • Pro­fes­sor Hans Kress, Pres­i­dent of EFIC
  • Dr Bev­er­ly Col­lett Chair of the Chron­ic Pain Pol­i­cy Coali­tion in the UK
  • John Lind­say, Vice Pres­i­dent of Pain Alliance Europe
  • Justi­no Marasi, Man­ag­er of a com­pa­ny pro­vid­ing health care ser­vices in Italy
  • Anne Lloyd, trustee of the Patients’ Asso­ci­a­tion, UK
  • Dr Judith Hoop­er, Direc­tor of Pub­lic Health for NHS Kirklees and Kirklees Council
  • Dr Chris Wells, pres­i­dent-elect of EFIC
  • Liisa Mikko­nen, Fin­ish Pain Association
  • Pro­fes­sor Stephen Bevan, Direc­tor of Work Force Effec­tive­ness, the Work Foundation
  • Pia Fred­erik­sen, the Dan­ish Asso­ci­a­tion of Chron­ic Pain Patients.


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