Researchers and patients brought together by a new grant offer

image003Pain Alliance Europe and Grünenthal are together introducing an initiative which will encourage patient-centric, patient driven, scientifically robust innovation and research projects, while creating better access to innovative treatments, promoting prevention and self-management approaches, decreasing stigma and finally, working together to improve quality of life for people living with these disabling conditions.

The Brain, Mind and Pain ‘Patient-Centred Innovation Grant’ aims to create an environment where patient centricity is the basis for future initiatives. This will contribute towards creating a sense of innovation, with direct impact on patients’ needs, and at the same time increasing awareness of chronic pain conditions and neurological disorders.

Pain: a challenge for individuals and healthcare systems

Pain causes a problem for individuals as well as a challenge for healthcare systems, economies and society: each year, approximately 1 in 5 Europeans or 20% of the adult population in Europe are affected by chronic pain (1). This includes 153 million people suffering migraine or other disabling headaches, 200 million people with musculoskeletal disorders and 100 million people experiencing other chronic pain (2).

Four of the top 12 global disabling conditions – low back and neck pain, migraine, arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions – are persistent pain conditions (3). Pain related conditions result in more people having to retire too early. With more than 500 million sick days per year in Europe, musculoskeletal pain causes almost 50% of all absences from work lasting three or more days in the EU and 60% of permanent work incapacity (4).

The estimated direct and indirect healthcare costs for chronic pain disorders in European Member States vary from 2 % to 2.9 % of GDP across the EU (4). For 2016, this estimate results in €296 – €429 billions (5). Healthy citizens, on the other hand, reduce the strain on healthcare systems and boost economic growth by staying active for longer.

Pain has a huge personal impact, it is among the top causes of disability in every region of Europe and increases the risks of other health problems, social exclusion and poverty (6) (7). Stigma and lack of public knowledge worsen the burden on patients and families by preventing people from seeking treatment. Yet pain remains poorly managed and under-treated, affecting not only patients, but society at large (2). Large health inequalities persist in the EU as many patients do not have access to effective pain treatment.

About the BMP grant

Several partner organisations are contributing to this project together with PAE and Grünenthal: the European Pain Federation (EFIC), the European Academy of Neurology (EAN), and the European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA).

The biennial grant provided by Grünenthal is for individual applicants as well as different organisations’ initiatives and partnerships. They are invited to present their innovative projects or ideas with direct impact on brain, mind, and pain patients’ quality of life.

The BMP grant’s objectives focus on three working streams: access to innovative treatments, prevention and self-management approaches, and reduction of stigma and research into life quality improvements. A jury of patients’ representatives supported by scientific experts will ensure that the nominated winner addresses the patients’ challenges.

The first BMP Grant Awarding Ceremony will take place in Spring 2018.

Interested applicants who meet the eligibility criteria will able to apply online from 1st September 2017.

More information will be available soon online, at www.bmp-grant.eu and www.pae-eu.eu.

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