The Active Citizenship Network, in partnership with EFIC and with the support of Grunenthal, has organized an open debate in the European Parliament on the 21 June. The meeting was hosted by MEP Patrizia Toia and has seen the participation of MEPs José Inácio Faria and Flavio Zanonato as well.

The background of the event is the article 8.5 of the Directive 2011/24/EU, which states that the degree of patients’ pain must be taken into account in the process of the cross-border healthcare treatment authorization. Member States should have transposed the Directive into their national legislation by October 2013 and, consequently, should have put in place mechanisms to assess the patient’s level of pain.Unfortunately, in the transposition process at national level only few Countries have formally recognized the importance of the assessment of the degree of patient’s pain as stated in article 8.5, setting the benchmark on the implementation of the cross-border healthcare directive. In this view, the 2016 Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) Symposium held in May draw some policy recommendations , and the open debate opened up discussion on this topic.

Experiences and best practices were also shared among the speakers, with a particular focus on the Mediterranean area. A common point that emerged from the meeting was the call for the inclusion of patients’ pain into the hospital registries.