The pan-European network of 18 non-governmental organisations from 11 EU countries was officially founded on 29 November 2011. It aims to bring together national and local organisations and patient groups which represent patient interest in addressing the issue of chronic pain at European level.
Already one in every four Europeans is suffering from excruciating pain, 100 million alone in the 27 EU states with half of them not being treated or even taken seriously. Whereas rheumatic, orthopedic and cancer pains are recognized ailments with many groups lobbying for their recognition and proper treatment, chronic pain as a disease is virtually unknown to healthcare professionals and the general public at large.
“PAE would like to raise awareness for people living under constant pain with neither adequate treatment nor the understanding of what this means to the quality of life of the chronic pain patient,” says Joop van Griensven, President of PAE. “Next to the enormous impact chronic pain has on an individual and its social network, chronic pain also causes great economic costs each year. These billions of Euro are being lost due to reduced working productivity or absence from work and due to the extra money spent in the health and social system because of wrong diagnose and wrong treatment.”
21 % of Europeans with chronic pain are unable to work and of those who are, 61% said it had directly impacted their employment status. According to the Pain Proposal European Consensus Report chronic pain could be costing Europe as much as EUR 300 billion annually. Prevalence of the severe pain is highest in Norway, followed by Poland and Italy.