You will all be familiar with the burden that pain causes to many people in England. Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical help. It comes at high price to patients, the NHS and the wider society.
According to the Department of Health1:
Chronic pain affects nearly eight million men, women and children of all ages in the UK and research suggests that numbers are rising
One in four people diagnosed is eventually unable to continue working, and chronic pain is commonly reported in the decade between 40 and 50 years of age
Back pain alone has been estimated to cost the economy £12.3 billion per annum, mainly due to work days lost
Adolescent pain has been estimated to cost the NHS £3.8 billion per annum
Chronic pain is the second most common reason for claiming incapacity benefit.
For decades it has been known that persistent pain can lead to profound and sometimes long-term changes in the body. And yet until recently, chronic pain has been regarded as nothing more than a symptom of something else. Dealing with chronic pain is frustrating for doctors as it is debilitating for patients.
Patients and clinicians realise that there are few easy solutions and that every patient is different. But all patients agree that everyone affected by chronic pain deserves access to the best mix of medical and psychological therapy and support from the right professionals, regardless of where they live.
The ABPI Pharmaceutical Pain Initiative
The ABPI Pharmaceutical Pain Iniative is a group of ABPI member companies who are working collectively, and in collaboration with other stakeholders, to raise the overall awareness of the impact of chronic pain in the UK and in particular to improve the diagnosis, treatment and management of pain for the benefit of patients.
The Group works to establish partnerships and joint working initiatives with all those with an interest in improving the care of patients in pain – be they patients, policy makers, commissioners or clinicians.
The current members of the group are Astellas, Grünenthal, Lilly, Napp and Pfizer. Membership of the group is open to all ABPI full member companies and up to 3 affiliate members of the ABPI whose objectives are aligned with the objectives of the Group. The chair of the group is Don Igoe (Market Access Manager, Analgesics, Napp Pharmaceuticals) and the vice chair is Sian James (Healthcare Development Manager (South), Grünenthal Ltd). The responsible executive for the group within ABPI is Carol Blount (NHS Partnership Director, ABPI).
Over time, the group seek to establish effective working relationships with stakeholders, based on the joint working principles as set out by DH/ABPI. This will ensure that the skills and expertise of the pharmaceutical industry can work alongside NHS clinicians and others to improve the care of patients.
For further information contact Martin Anderson, group secretary,
1. Pain: breaking through the barrier. Department of Health: CMO annual report. 2008