With a multi-modal approach to adequate chronic low back pain management

Grünenthal supported an associated educational symposium at IASP®

Milan/Aachen, 27th August 2012. Chronic pain has a high prevalence world-wide. In Europe, 80 million people are suffering from chronic pain, which results in approximately 500 million sick days and accumulates costs of around 34 billion Euros.

Milan/Aachen, 27th August 2012. Chronic pain has a high prevalence worldwide. In Europe, 80 million people are suffering from chronic pain,1 which results in approximately 500 million sick days and accumulates costs of around 34 billion Euros.2 Studies show that pain patients are often treated insufficiently making chronic pain a considerable healthcare problem, an issue also addressed in the Italian law 38 of 2010.3 To achieve an adequate level of healthcare provision in the field of pain, education for healthcare professionals is crucial. With the PAIN EDUCATION program, the international CHANGE PAIN®i initiative gives physicians the opportunity to easily access evidence-based training about pain management. At the 14th World Congress on Pain of the International Association of Pain (IASP®) an associated symposium “How mechanisms can guide your approach to chronic low back pain: An interactive discussion” took place. The event organized by Excerpta Medica was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Grünenthal and was CME-accredited.

Chronic pain affects up to 19% of the European population4,5,6 and 25-30% in the United States7. But despite several guidelines, it is often managed insufficiently and has become a major problem for the healthcare systems.1 Italy is the first country to address this issue legally. Law 38 guarantees patients access to pain medicine and palliative care.8 Considering that managing chronic pain is a worldwide challenge, the Italian approach could serve as a best practice example.

Law 38 calls for professional education to improve the current situation. Following the advice of the CHANGE PAIN® advisory board, offering evidence based education tools to physicians is also a major objective of the CHANGE PAIN® initiative.9 “In order to improve the treatment of chronic pain, physicians need relevant training modules on the underlying mechanisms of pain and the adequate use of treatment options”, said Professor Hans Georg Kress, chair of the international advisory board of CHANGE PAIN®.

PAIN EDUCATION – training that meets the needs of today’s physicians
CHANGE PAIN® implemented the PAIN EDUCATION program, an interactive learning platform for healthcare professionals based on recommendations of the international CHANGE PAIN® Advisory Board. It provides relevant educational resources to improve the management of chronic pain. The unique and comprehensive training tools meet the preferences of today’s physicians by focusing on online tools that allow flexible learning. Physicians can participate whenever it fits their schedule, regardless of where they are. So far, the programme includes six eCME modules certified by Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes (UEMS). Two more modules on Pain in the Elderly and Cancer Pain are under development. The eCME modules can be accessed at www.pain-cme.net).

In addition, the PAIN EDUCATION program offers a comprehensive online textbook, the PAIN Compendium (available at http://www.change-pain.com). It was developed by a group of pain experts and edited by Dr Reinhard Sittl, Head Interdisciplinary Pain Clinic, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany.

Interactive associated symposium
At the 14th World Congress on Pain in Milan the CME-accredited associated symposium ““How mechanisms can guide your approach to chronic low back pain: An interactive discussion” took place, supported by an unrestricted education grant from Grünenthal. On the basis of a patient case of chronic, non-specific low back pain key elements from diagnosis to treatment of this burdensome condition were discussed, and underlying mechanisms highlighted. Participants were immersed in a highly interactive, multimedia event that had been designed to stimulate discussions and promote a congenial learning environment. “For appropriate pain management, it is important to choose a multi-modal approach that takes pharmacological treatment options as well as yellow flag factors into account”, summarised Dr Reinhard Sittl, one of four speakers of the interactive symposium.

CHANGE PAIN® aims to enhance the understanding of the needs of patients with severe chronic pain and to develop solutions to improve chronic pain management. Initiated by the International pain expert Grünenthal and endorsed by the European Federation of the IASP® Chapters (EFIC®), the initiative involves pain experts from across Europe. The international Advisory Board is chaired by Professor Hans-Georg Kress, Chair of the Department of Special Anesthesia and Pain Therapy, Medical University/AKH Vienna, Austria and President of EFIC®, and Dr Gerhard H. H. Müller-Schwefe, MD, Head of Centre for Interdisciplinary Pain Therapy & Palliative Care, Goeppingen, Germany and President of the German Pain Association (DGS). Key objectives of CHANGE PAIN® are to generate a better understanding of physicians’ and patients’ perspectives, publish the results of research projects and communicate findings in scientific publications, as well as to increase knowledge of pain physiology to facilitate individual treatment decisions. More information: www.change-pain.com

About EFIC®
The European Federation of IASP® Chapters (EFIC®) is a multidisciplinary professional organisation in the field of pain research and medicine, consisting of the 36 European chapters of the International Association of the Study of Pain (IASP®), which are the IASP® accredited official pain societies in each country. Established in 1993, EFIC’s constituent chapters represent pain societies from 36 European countries and close to 20,000 scientists, physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and other healthcare professionals across Europe, who are involved in pain management and pain research. More about EFIC: www.efic.org

About Grünenthal
The Grünenthal Group is an independent, family-owned, international research-based pharmaceutical company headquartered in Aachen, Germany. Building on its unique position in pain, its objective is to become the most patient-centric company and thus to be a leader in therapy innovation.
Grünenthal is one of the last five research-oriented pharmaceutical corporations with headquarters in Germany which sustainably invests in research and development. These investments amounted to about 25 percent of revenues in 2011. Grünenthal’s research and development strategy concentrates on select fields of therapy and state-of-the-art technologies. We focus on the intensive search for new ways to treat pain better, more effectively and with fewer side-effects than before.
Altogether, the Grünenthal Group has affiliates in 26 countries worldwide. Grünenthal products are sold in more than 155 countries and today approx. 4,200 employees are working for the Grünenthal Group worldwide. In 2011, Grünenthal achieved revenues of €947 mn.

Yvonne Schneider
Phone: +49-(0)69-756199-54
Fax: +49-(0)69-756199-13
E-Mail: yvonne.schneider@edelman.com

i CHANGE PAIN® is a pan-European initiative by the German pain expert Grünenthal that aims to enhance the understanding of the needs of patients with severe chronic pain and to develop solutions to improve pain management.1

1 Reid KJ, Harker J, Bala MM, Truyers C, Kellen E, Bekkering G, et al. Epidemiology of chronic non-cancer pain in Europe: narrative review of prevalence, pain treatments and pain impact. Curr Med Res Opin. 2011; 27(2):449-62.
2 Hill L, Schug SA. Recent advances in the pharmaceutical management of pain. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2009; 2(5):543-57.
3 Varrassi G, Müller-Schwefe G, Pergolizzi J, Orónska A, Morlion B, Mavrocordatos P, et al. Pharmacological treatment of chronic pain – the need for CHANGE. Curr Med Res Opin. 2010; 26(5):1231-45.
4 Breivik H, Collett B, Ventafridda V, Cohen R, Gallacher D. Survey of chronic pain in Europe: prevalence, impact on daily life, and treatment. Eur J Pain. 2006; 10:287-333.
5 Sjøgren P, Ekholm O, Peuckmann V, Grønbæk M. Epidemiology of chronic pain in Den-mark: an update. Eur J Pain. 2009; 13:287-92.
6 Rustøen T, Wahl AK, Hanestad BR, Lerdal A, Paul S, Miaskowski C. Prevalence and characteristics of chronic pain in the general Norwegian population. Eur J Pain. 2004; 8:555-65.
7 Coda BA, Bonica JJ. General considerations of acute pain. In: Loeser JD, Butler SH, Chapman CR, Turk DC, editors. Bonica’s Management of Pain, 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Willkins; 2001. p. 224-40.
8 Ministry of Health. Italy. Law 38, 2010.
9 Müller-Schwefe G, Jaksch W, Morlion B, Kalso E, Schäfer M, Coluzzi F, et al. Make a CHANGE: optimising communication and pain management decisions. Curr Med Res Opin. 2011; 27(2):481-88.

Frank Schönrock

Vice President Corporate Affairs

Phone:  +49 241 569-1568

Fax:  +49 241 569-3539



Current pain treatment with strong opioids is often trapped in a Vicious Circle





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