The above figure is provided by the 'DolPrin' study conducted by La Princesa University Hospital, which today hosts the I Open Doors Conference of Pain Care Committees.

The Conference organized nine simultaneous assistance round tables where patients were able to directly express their doubts to different expert professionals.

The greatest challenge is to reduce the number of patients whose pain becomes chronic (and is then very difficult to heal) and to ensure a good approach from the start.

Currently, up to 65% of patients who come to the hospital are in pain1, and more than 50% of Primary Care visits relate to pain[2]. This is why chronic pain should be considered as a disease in its own right, where the major challenges are improving the approach to pain, measuring its intensity, and informing the patient. With this purpose, the I Open Doors Conference of Pain Care Committees was held at La Princesa University Hospital in Madrid.

Under the motto 'Your pain matters to us', the Subdirectorate General of Quality of the Health Department of the Community of Madrid and the Spanish Society of Pain (SED) organized this conference in collaboration with ESTEVE. Patients, relatives and the general public expressed their doubts to specialists, and experts gave advice in a friendly, personal way.

"This conference was conducted by and for the patients, who were able to express their doubts and ask questions to different specialists from different hospitals of the Community of Madrid to learn how to better manage their pain", says Dr. Concepción Pérez, Head of the Pain Unit of La Princesa University Hospital and spokesperson of the SED, who also emphasized the multidisciplinary character of the conference. "Patients were able to express their doubts to different specialists. Also, the presence of experts of different pain care committees made knowledge transfer more cross-cutting in this field".

According to data of the 'DolPrin' study conducted by the Pain Care Committee of La Princesa University Hospital in a sample of 1,000 patients, to be published in early 2017, 65% of people who come to the hospital are in pain, "including all specialties, not only emergency care or primary care"[1].

Consistent with this, the I Open Doors Conference of Pain Care Committees included nine simultaneous assistance tables, each attended to by specialists from different hospitals of Madrid and devoted to one type of pain (musculoskeletal, postoperative, oncologic, fibromyalgia, headache, neuropathic) or therapy (pharmacological treatment, interventional therapy, and rehabilitation).

Also, the second edition [3] of "Guidelines and tools to help you self-manage your pain", created by the Pain Care Committee of La Princesa University Hospital in collaboration with patients, was distributed among attendees.

Pain, a disease that must not become chronic

"Chronic pain is very difficult to heal. Accordingly, the main challenge we face in this field is to reduce the number of patients whose pain becomes chronic and to ensure a good approach from the start", Dr. Pérez explains. Also, "measuring pain is crucial; indeed, that which cannot be measured cannot be seen. Finally, we must not forget the patient, who must become involved in his/her disease, be informed, be trained and get into a positive mood regarding pain when it has become chronic".

The current data speaks for itself. The mean duration of chronic pain is nine years. According to the SED[4], 35% of patients are in pain throughout their entire lifetime, and this has a great impact on their personal, family, social and work life. On top of that, chronic pain is one of the major public health issues on account of direct and indirect costs (2.5% to 3% of GDP).

Since 2012, all Madrid Health Service hospitals have Pain Care Committees devoted to: improving care of patients in general pain and, more specifically, sensitizing professionals to the importance of their active contribution to relieve pain; promoting measurement, information and training in this field; establishing a culture based on pain-free care; promoting initiatives to reduce the variability and increase the quality of the approach to pain; providing a space for the collection, discussion and analysis of issues relating to integrated pain care; and identifying, evaluating and prioritizing areas for improvement with proposals for action.

Currently, 476 professionals sit on these Committees, including representatives of the management team, the quality unit, continuity of care, and pain-related care areas (anesthesiology, surgery, oncology, palliative care, etc.).

Pain Care Committees follow three lines of action that are common to all hospitals: acute pain, chronic pain, and coordination with the Risk Management Functional Unit regarding safety in the treatment of pain. There is also a fourth line of action for general hospitals that relates to coordination with Primary Care. In 2015 these Committees developed 166 lines of action, such as the development and implementation of treatment protocols, healthcare provider training, and written information to patients.

ESTEVE's commitment to pain

The I Open Doors Conference on Pain "Pain Care Committees of the Madrid Health Service" ties in with ESTEVE's strategy in analgesia, which is based on three pillars: the search for new first-in-class drugs for different types of pain, an integrated approach to the patient in pain, and a network of excellence for substantial progress.

In neuropathic pain and severe chronic pain, the laboratory is developing a new chemical entity with an unprecedented mode of action: E-52862, a selective sigma-1 receptor antagonist already in clinical phase II. Pending the completion of research, this would be a medicine with a completely new mechanism of action discovered by a Spanish company to treat these types of pain.

Another project is the new therapeutic entity E-58425, a new co-crystal composed of two active ingredients (celecoxib and tramadol) which has now completed clinical phase II for the treatment of moderate to severe acute pain. The available data has shown a greatly improved efficacy and safety profile as compared to the gold standard active comparator.


[1] Comité de Atención en Dolor del Hospital Universitario de La Princesa de Madrid
[2] Sociedad Española de Médicos de Atención Primaria (SEMERGEN)
[3] "Guía de manejo del dolor. Herramientas de autoayuda"
[4] Sociedad Española del Dolor (SED)

ESTEVE (www.esteve.com) is a leading chemical-pharmaceutical group in Spain with a strong international presence. Founded in 1929 and presided over by Joan Esteve, the Company currently employs 2,279 people, has a presence in Europe, USA, Mexico and China, and had a sales revenue of 870 million Euros in 2015. ESTEVE is firmly committed to excellence and uses its best efforts to promote health and improve people's quality of life. Research being ESTEVE's hallmark, a portfolio of highly innovative projects ultimately aims to provide response to unmet medical needs. Because ESTEVE is a socially responsible Company, it ensures that all projects entered by it align with its CSR vision. You may follow ESTEVE at Twitter's link: @ESTEVE_news

For more information, please contact:
Mª José Egea, Atrevia, Tel. 93 419 06 30, megea@atrevia.com
Olga Cajal, ESTEVE, Tel. 93 446 60 02 ocajal@esteve.es