Press Release | May 2017

Researchers and patients brought together by a new Grant offer

Pain Alliance Europe (PAE) 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 health care costs for chronic pain disorders in the European Member States vary from 2 % to 2.9 % of GDP across the EU (4). For 2016 this estimate results in €296 – €429 billion (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 undertreated, 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 the 1st September 2017.

More information will be available soon online, at and

About Pain Alliance Europe

Pain Alliance Europe is a non-governmental umbrella organization of national associations committed to improving the quality of life of people with chronic pain in Europe.

For PAE, quality of life for a chronic pain patient means giving the patient the right to choose the best possible solutions and the support to live their life according to their possibilities and wishes. It aims to increase awareness of chronic pain, to promote European policy on chronic pain and to reduce the impact of chronic pain on the European society at all levels. More information about PAE is available at

About Grünenthal

The Grünenthal Group is an entrepreneurial, science-based pharmaceutical company specializing in pain, gout, and inflammation. Our ambition is to deliver four to five new products to patients in diseases with high unmet medical need by 2022 and become a €2 billion company. We are a fully integrated research & development company with a long track record of bringing innovative pain treatments and state-of-the-art technologies to patients. By sustainably investing in our R&D above the industrial average, we are strongly committed to innovation.

Grünenthal is an independent, family-owned company headquartered in Aachen, Germany. We are present in 32 countries with affiliates in Europe, Latin America, and the US. Our products are sold in more than 155 countries and approx. 5,500 employees work for the Grünenthal Group worldwide. In 2016, Grünenthal achieved revenues of approx. € 1.4 bn.

More information:


Pain Alliance Europe

Joop van Griensven


Grensstraat 7 1831 Diegem


Media Contact:

Project support: Anca Pop


Phone: +32 (0)2 673 28 13

Fax: +32 (0)2 660 38 21


  1. Breivik, H, et al., et al. Survey of chronic pain in Europe: prevalence, impact on daily life, and treatment. European Journal of Pain. 2006, Vol. 10, pp. 287–333.
  2. Brain, Mind and Pain. The Book of Evidence. s.l. : Brain, Mind and Pain interest group, 2015.
  3. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Vos, Theo, et al., et al. 388, 8 October 2016, The lancet, pp. 1545 – 1602.
  4. Bevan, Stephen. Reducing Temporary Work Absence Through Early Intervention: The case of MSDs in the EU. Lancashire: The Work Foundation, 2013.
  5. Wikipedia. Economy of the European Union. Wikipedia. [Online] [Cited: 7 May 2017.]
  6. Pain Concern. Transcript – Programme 76: Pain, poverty, and employment. [Online] 29 February 2016. [Cited: 26 July 2016.]
  7. Phillips, Ceri, et al., et al. Prioritising pain in policy making: The need for a whole systems perspective. Health Policy. 2008, Vol. 88, pp. 166-175.

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Brain, Mind, and Pain Patient-Centred Innovation Grant

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