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4 ROAD MAP FOR ACTION Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) 2011: Raising Awareness with the EU Institutions Since the beginning of May 2011, the issue of pain and its impact on society has become a new topic on the agenda of the EU institutions in Brussels. On the 3rd and 4th May 2011 the second symposium on the “Societal Impact of Pain” (SIP 2011) took place in the European Parliament, bringing together more than 300 European health care sta- keholders from over 30 countries. The scientific framework of SIP 2011 was again designed and over- seen by the European Federation of IASP® Chapters (EFIC® ). Demon- strating its tremendous societal re- levance the scientific programme was endorsed by 85 health care or- ganisations (*). In the European Par- liament the event was co-hosted by Dr Jiří Maštálka MEP and Dr Milan Cabrnoch MEP. This exciting mee- ting concluded with a call for action for all countries involved to actively participate in the new “Road Map for Action” in Pain. The Societal Impact of Pain – a “Road Map for Action” A major outcome of the 2nd mee- ting was a decisive ‘Road Map for Action’, which was created in one of the workshops that took place on the second day. The workshop, en- titled ‘Pain policy; Ensuring access to pain treatment’, outlines the key issues on how the EU institutions and member states should effec- tively address the societal impact of pain at EU level. Some coun- tries, for example Italy with the law no 38/2010, have already enacted laws to ensure access to pain treat- ment. Moreover the Italian Ministry of Health took action recently to monitor closely whether the public companies overseeing the organi- zation of healthcare are complying with this law. Specifically, the Road Map for Ac- tion calls on European governments and the EU Institutions to work on seven concrete policy dimensions on the ‘Societal Impact of Pain’: The detailed Road Map can be found online at All information on the programme of “Societal Impact of Pain” 2011, its outcomes, as well as videos, statements, presentations and pictures can be found online at: * The pharmaceutical company Grünenthal GmbH was responsible for organisation and logistics. 1 Acknowledgement of pain as an important factor limiting the quality of life; 2 Availability of information and access to pain diagnosis and management; 3 Increased awareness of the medical, financial and social impact that pain and its management have; 4 Increased awareness of the importance of prevention, diagnosis and management of pain; 5 Encouragement of pain research; 6 Establishment of an EU platform for the exchange, comparison and benchmarking of best practice; 7 Trend monitoring in pain management by using the EU platform.