Chronic Pain Treatment across Europe Inadequate

Chronic pain costs Europe billions of Euros each year and 21% of Europeans with chronic pain are unable to work at all as a result of their chronic pain.

Across Europe, inefficiencies in the treatment of chronic pain result in increasing healthcare costs and prolonged patient suffering, according to the results of a report.

Chronic pain costs Europe billions of Euros each year and 21% of Europeans with chronic pain are unable to work at all as a result of their chronic pain. Of those able to work, 61% said it had impacted directly on their employment status.

The new research was commissioned for inclusion in a pan-European consensus report, the Pain Proposal. The proposal was developed by a range of European experts in the fields of chronic pain, policy, and economics in partnership with Pfizer.

The report calls on the European Union (EU) and Member States to tackle chronic pain and provide access to a minimum standard of care for all people with chronic pain. It advocates that chronic pain should be treated with the same seriousness afforded to other major conditions or diseases. By doing so, cost savings and better outcomes for patients will be delivered for Europe.

An expected increase in the rate of individuals suffering with chronic pain coincides with the increase with the ageing population. The reports states that the pathway through the healthcare system for people with chronic pain is often lengthy, convoluted and inefficient.

Also, the lack of public awareness of chronic pain and its impact leaves people ill-equipped to seek help or take appropriate action to manage their condition from its onset. As many as 100 million Europeans with chronic pain want to be an active member of society, but many feel their condition stands in their way, the report reveals.

Speaking at the report’s launch, host Member of the European Parliament and Vice Chair of the Disability Intergroup, MEP Cecilia Wikström said, “This Pain initiative helps to increase awareness of the personal, social and economic impact of chronic pain in Europe, and underlines the need for more efficient health systems to improve patient care.”