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Report highlights impact of chronic pain

Urgent action is needed to tackle chronic pain in Europe says report, with estimates that the condition costs the economy £12.3bn per year in the UK alone

A report launched at the 7th conference for the European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain (EFIC) has called for governments to address the 'inadequate management' of chronic pain.

The paper claims that there is an alarmingly high prevalence of the condition that is uncontrolled. Chronic pain affects one on five adults in Europe and is thought to cost the economy £12.3bn per year in the UK alone, according to the report.

Dr Magdi Hanna, member of OPENMinds, consultant in pain medicine and director of the analgesics and pain research unit in Beckenham, Kent, UK, said: "This serious public health problem must be addressed as a priority and people suffering from pain must receive comprehensive evaluation and assessment by skilled healthcare professionals."

The report suggests ways to improve the management of chronic pain, including increasing the priority of the condition as a public health issue; the allocation of appropriate resources to pain care services; and ensuring the availability and accessibility of appropriate pain medications and the promotion and support of further research.

The paper also claims that there continue to be restrictions on the availability and accessibility of treatments, including opioids.

Elsewhere at the EFIC conference, Astellas Pharma Europe launched its photography exhibition on chronic pain.

22nd September 2011

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