UCL News


The right to pain relief

14 October 2004

Representatives from around the world will meet in Geneva for a global day against pain on 11 October 2004.

'Sharp Pain' by Baruch Elron Chronic pain is a widespread medical problem and the message of the day is that the relief of pain should be a human right. Many UCL academics are involved in researching chronic, and campaigning to ensure better treatment for pain sufferers.

Chronic pain is a major threat to the quality of life worldwide, and the world's ageing population mean that the problem is set to increase. In the developing world, many people will disease suffer from pain for which there is little or no pain relief available. HIV/AIDS and cancer are two particular causes of pain throughout the world, but many millions of people suffer from pain for other reasons, including acts of war, accidents or after surgery. Cost-effective methods of pain control need to be developed and implemented efficiently to relieve this burden of human suffering.

UCL's Faculty of Life Sciences has a number of groups who are highly active in pain research, which form part of the Wellcome Trust London Pain Consortium. Professor John Wood in Biology, Professor Steve Hunt and Professor Maria Fitzgerald in Anatomy and Professor Tony Dickenson in Pharmacology all work in the area of pain.

Professor Dickenson, who has just returned as the only non-USA speaker at the huge Pain Forum meeting in Philadelphia, is speaking at the Royal Institution at a public meeting entitled 'Living with Pain' chaired by Clare Raynor. Professor Dickenson also advises a patient group, the Neuropathy Trust. In March he was part of a film, philosophy and science discussion at the ICA and was a commissioner on the Independent Inquiry into Drug Testing at Work that has reported. In the past year he has spoken on the mechanisms of pain and its control at meetings of the Thai Pain Society, and is due to lecture at the Irish Pain Society and the Greek Society. He has also spoken on pain in Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Image: Sharp Pain, Baruch Elron.

To find out more about the global day against pain use the link below.

Global Day Against Pain