Patient – The people we serve
Having access to appropriate pain treatment is a basic human right. As a leader in pain management, we help to educate healthcare professionals and patients on how to use these medicines responsibly. We also raise awareness and increase accessibility to current treatments while developing new medicines for unmet medical needs.
Overview of measures
- To improve patients’ outcomes, we are educating healthcare professionals and thereby improving communication between them and their patients, supporting patients on their journey toward optimal pain management.
- Raising awareness of pain as a disease and improving access to pain medicine are two of our key priorities. To integrate our rich and wide engagement at the global and local level, we will be creating one joint Grünenthal Platform for Awareness and Access under a common global strategy. It will provide visibility and aligned commitment, increasing the focus, reach and impact of these activities.
- By building data-driven human disease understanding approaches along our R&D value chain, we are enhancing our ability to create innovative medicines for patients in need.
Impact initiative: Education of Healthcare Professionals
Education in responsible use of pain medicines helps healthcare professionals and their patients to work together toward improved and sustainable outcomes.
|Material Topic||Our Ambitions / KPIs for 2022|
|Responsible Use of Pain Medication
||Continuous development and improvement of Grünenthal’s leading Opioid Responsibility Framework.|
|Continuous expansion of network of Business Partners committed to the Opioid Responsibility Framework for Business Partners.|
|Co-development of a CHANGE PAIN global hub called Pain Management, with medical societies, featuring Grünenthal and independent Responsible Use of Pain Medication educational resources.|
|Launch of an educational expert forum on Responsible Use of Pain Medication in Europe and Latin America by end of 2023, to be recognised as the platform for Responsible Use of Pain Medication by international healthcare professionals by the end of 2025.|
Education about pain treatment and the responsible use of opioids
Patients in pain need access to appropriate pain treatment, and we believe that responsibly prescribed opioids should be one of the options available. However, while opioids can provide benefits for patients in pain, they may also carry a risk of inappropriate use, including misuse, abuse and diversion, as well as the risk of addiction. That is why it is essential that physicians prescribe opioids after careful consideration of the benefits and risks, and that they evaluate all available treatment options.
As a leader in pain management and an opioid manufacturer, we are highly committed to ensuring that our employees, customers, patients and partners have a thorough understanding of our stance on the responsible medical use of opioids in pain. We aim to foster a mindset shift along the entire value chain by ensuring that all opioid-related materials contain Grünenthal’s statement on responsible use of opioids, which clearly highlights the risks and benefits of this class of medicines.
An urgent and measured response to the opioid crisis is required
Impact initiative: One strategic Grünenthal Platform for Awareness and Accesss
A world free of pain – that is our vision. If this vision is to be realised, societies need to be more aware of pain as a disease and better identify where pain management needs are still unmet.
|Material Topic||Our Ambitions / KPIs for 2022|
|Awareness and Access
||Increase the focus, reach and impact of our global and local awareness and accessibility activities by aligning them strategically under one global platform.|
|Use our global platform for collaboration with external partners to identify best leverage opportunities for our unique expertise to have a lasting impact on improving pain management.|
These efforts include creating awareness of chronic pain as a disease in its own right and ensuring access to pain medicines. To maximise our positive impact, we also focus on innovation in pain management, as well as education about the treatment of pain and the responsible use of opioids.
The impact of chronic pain
people suffer from chronic pain worldwide1
of chronic pain patients state that they were not satisfied with the efficiency of the treatment they received2
of adults with chronic pain experience a clinically significant degree of insomnia3
1 Treede RD, et al. Pain 2015 Jun;156(6):1003-1007
2 Pain Alliance Europe, 2017, Survey on Chronic Pain 2017, Diagnosis, Treatment and Impact of Pain
3 Nijs J, et al. PMR 2020 410-419
Awareness of pain as a disease
Our aim is to raise awareness about the impact of pain in general, and of chronic pain in particular, by supporting a multi-stakeholder platform called the “Societal Impact of Pain”. It fosters the development of pain policies on a national level. Around 40 percent of European countries now have a national action plan against pain in place. Our Pain Toolkit provides patients with practical tips and explanations about how to manage and prevent pain.
Access to non-opioid medicines
Our educational activities also include further projects and funding initiatives that support improved awareness of the impact and treatment of pain. CHANGE PAIN®, for example, offers a global medical education platform that provides tailored content about pain to healthcare professionals and patients. You can find additional examples of our work in this field here.
Expanding access to palliative care
We have a longstanding commitment to preserving dignity and quality of life at the end stage of people’s lives. The Grünenthal Foundation for Palliative Care was set up in 1998 to promote science and research in this field and to support the care of people with severe or terminal diseases. The Foundation facilitated the creation of the Department of Palliative Medicine at the Aachen University Hospital in 2004 - the first of its kind in Germany. This set the ball rolling: 17 chairs and professorships in palliative medicine and pediatric palliative medicine exist in Germany today, and we hope that this number will continue to rise in the coming years. See here where teaching and research in this field are taking place in Germany today.
Chairs and professorships for palliative medicine and paediatric palliative medicine in Germany
Chair of Palliative Medicine at the University Hospital of RWTH Aachen University
Prof. Dr. med. Roman Rolke
Professorship for Oncological Palliative Medicine Charité - University Medicine Berlin Department of Haematology, Oncology and Tumour Immunology
Prof. Dr. med. Eva Schildmann MSc
Chair of Palliative Medicine at the University Hospital of the University of Bonn
Prof. Dr. med. Lukas Radbruch
Chair of Palliative Medicine at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Prof. Dr. med. Christoph Ostgathe
Chair of Palliative Medicine at the University Hospital of the University of Freiburg
Prof. Dr. med. Dipl-Theol. Dipl.-Caritaswiss. Gerhild Becker MSc
Chair of Palliative Medicine at the University Hospital of the University of Göttingen
Prof. Dr. med. Friedemann Nauck
Professorship for Palliative Medicine at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf
Prof. Dr. med. Karin Oechsle
Chair of General Medicine and Palliative Medicine at the Hannover Medical School
Prof. Dr. med. Nils Schneider MPH
Chair of Palliative Medicine at Heidelberg University Hospital
Prof. Dr. med. Bernd Alt-Epping
Chair of Palliative Medicine at the University Hospital of the University of Cologne
Prof. Dr. med. Raymond Voltz
Chair of Palliative Medicine at the University Medical School of the University of Mainz
Prof. Dr. med. Martin Weber
Professorship for Social Work in Palliative Care at the Catholic Foundation University of Applied Sciences Munich
Prof. i.K. Dr. rer. biol. hum. Maria Wasner, M.A.
Chair of Palliative Medicine at the University Hospital of the University of Munich
Prof. Dr. med. Claudia Bausewein PhD MSc
Professorship for paediatric palliative medicine at the University Hospital of the University of Munich, Dr von Haunersches Kinderspital
Prof. Dr. med. Monika Führer
Professorship for Haematology, Oncology and Palliative Medicine at the University Hospital of the University of Rostock
Prof. Dr. med. Christian Junghanß
Chair of Paediatric Pain Therapy and Paediatric Palliative Medicine at the Private University of Witten/Herdecke gGmbH
Prof. Dr. med. Boris Zernikow
Professorship for Palliative Medicine at the University of Würzburg
Prof. Dr. med. Birgitt van Oorschot
However, our commitment to palliative care extends far beyond Germany. We provide particular support to regions where people have very limited access to palliative care - one example is Latin America. The figures show that the issue is highly relevant there: Currently, only about 7.6 percent of people who need palliative care actually have access to it. This puts Latin America well below the global average of 14 percent.
In Peru, for example, around 100,000 patients are seeking access to palliative medicine. Still, there are only around 100 qualified palliative care specialists. For this reason, we created Peru's first Master's Degree in Palliative Care and Pain Management, and provided scholarships to half of the 60 students in the first class. In 2021, the first forty-four physicians from various specialties graduated from the new programme.
In addition, we organised the international Congress on Palliative Care in Lima together with the Department of Palliative Medicine at the Medical Faculty of RWTH Aachen University, Germany, the Peruvian Society for Palliative Care and the National University of San Marcos, we organised the International Congress on Palliative Care in Lima. It facilitated the exchange of knowledge and skills related to treating people in the final phase of life and raised awareness among the scientific and political communities and across society about the importance of providing high-quality palliative medicine.
In Peru, for example, around 100,000 patients are seeking access to palliative medicine, but there are only around 100 qualified palliative care specialists. For this reason, we created Peru's first Master's Degree in Palliative Care and Pain Management, and provided scholarships to half of the 60 students in the first class.
In addition, together with the Department of Palliative Medicine at the Medical Faculty of RWTH Aachen University, Germany, the Peruvian Society for Palliative Care and the National University of San Marcos, we organised the international Congress on Palliative Care in Lima. It facilitated the exchange of knowledge and skills related to treating people in the final phase of life and raised awareness among the scientific and political communities, as well as across society, about the importance of providing high-quality palliative medicine.
Impact initiative: Data-driven Human Disease Understanding
Chronic pain is a disease and is one of the most common medical complaints, but despite its prevalence, many individuals still suffer from unrelieved pain and reduced quality of life. There is a huge unmet medical need for improved pain management, but there are gaps in disease understanding including pain targets, biomarkers, and patient phenotypes.
- We are ensuring better use of data-driven understanding of human disease along the R&D value chain.
- We are using machine learning based on human data to increase disease understanding and improve the design of clinical trials. Machine learning is also helping us to make better molecules more efficiently and reduce development cycle times.
- Through our Discovery Project we are supporting multiparameter optimisation of molecules to produce high quality drug candidates.
- We use objective digital measurements of patients’ mobility and sleep to improve understanding of treatments in clinical studies and post-approval.
- By improving our understanding of the treatment effect of analgesics, we will further support patients on their journey to be pain free.
|Material Topic||Our Ambitions / KPIs for 2022|
||Reduce cycle times and resources required for de novo candidate discovery through machine learning (ML) (baseline is 18 months; goal in 2025 is 14 months).|
|Improve clinical trial design through ML-based patient phenotyping (baseline is zero trials; goal in 2025 is two trials)|
|Improve understanding of treatment effects in clinical studies and post-approval through objective measurement of mobility and sleep (baseline is one study, goal in 2025 is two studies).|
Innovating in pain management
We need solutions that address the huge unmet needs in pain management. Through our funding programmes, such as the EFIC-Grünenthal Grant, the Brain Mind Pain Patient Grant, IMI PainCare , MOBILISE-D and ESCulab we support scientists in carrying out innovative clinical pain research. We have more than 250 priority patent applications.
Pain often comes with stigma. To decrease this, we need to encourage patient-centric treatment. We are working with partners towards this goal, with the aim of improving quality of life for people living with pain.Initiatives & Grants