MAHON, Minorca, May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Today marks the final sessions of the congress of the World Medicine Park, the first global forum devoted to medical sciences, this year focusing on dealing with pain. Innovative aspects discussed at the congress include the future of analgesic therapy based on genetic medicine for increasingly personalized cures. Jordi Moya Riera, President of the congress: "Make a date for next year's edition which will be even richer with more attendees and multidisciplinary aspects. Our heartfelt thanks to the Institutions of Minorca and the Balearic Islands for their unstinting support."
More than 1,200 delegates from several European countries came together for the first edition of the World Medicine Park, which opened on 7 May in Minorca. Not just a congress but a multidisciplinary medicine park which aims to become a meeting place for the world's healthcare community.
"What we have seen over these days was an intense period of sharing and teamwork involving clinical specialists, researchers, companies and Institutions to discuss the major challenge of pain," says Guido Fanelli, Professor of Anesthesiology and Reanimation at the University of Parma, amongst the main supporters of the WMP. "Everything took place with the backing of high technology and innovation. One of the main conclusions of the congress was the need to improve patients' understanding of opioid analgesics so that these substances become more accepted throughout Europe; and the training of clinical specialists is also important so that they are able to prescribe the most appropriate cures. Regarding the use of opioid analgesics, there has been a double-digit growth of consumption in Southern European countries, higher than levels in Northern countries, but there is still a gap to be filled."
Regarding current pharmacological prescriptions, there was an interesting round table with the participation of two leading companies in the field of pain therapy, Grünenthal and Mundipharma, represented by the two Regional Managers for Southern Europe, Thilo Stadler, who illustrated the market data for Europe, and Marco Filippini, who presented the data for Italy. Regarding the situation illustrated by Stadler, the number of Patient Treatment Days (PTDs) per year shows a positive trend with a slow but constant increase in appropriate therapies in Southern Europe. During the period 2009-2013, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal showed an overall increase of 15% in the consumption of strong opioid drugs, against +8% in Northern European countries, where the use of these substances is anyway higher. In more detail, according to IMS data for January-December 2013, first place is held by Denmark (9.1 PTDs), followed by UK (8.1) and Sweden (5.8); at the opposite end of the classification, Spain (2.4), France (2), Italy (1.3) and Portugal (0.5). Moreover, the market for strong opioid analgesics in 2013 stood at 1.8 billion euros, showing +10% for Southern Europe, against +3% for Northern Europe. The figures given by Filippini showed that there has been a slight improvement in Italy regarding appropriate prescriptions for pain treatment, although non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) remain by far the most purchased self-medication OTC drugs, despite significant side effects.
A significant contribution to the discussion came from a representative of the United Nations who confirmed the UN commitment to support the use of opioid analgesics against pain. "About 83% of the world's population has little or no access to narcotic substances for pain therapy," said Gilberto Gerra, from the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), one of the speakers at the World Medicine Park. "Every year there are 5.5 million terminal cancer patients without adequate control of suffering. Today the United Nations reiterate clearly that the controlled provision of narcotic substances should be guaranteed in order to comply with international conventions. We are working on the full revision of the Model Law regarding access to medicines and preventing problems of illegality, through new and advanced provisions, aimed less at punishing offenders and more at curing, protecting and supporting patients. By the end of 2014 we shall have a final version to submit to member States so that they can review their own national legislation in the light of these provisions."
The congress also examined the interesting subject of personalized genetic medicine, since there are development prospects for pain therapy. "An example is low back pain which concerns 80% of patients with chronic algic conditions," says Massimo Allegri, Medical Specialist for Pain Therapy, Polyclinic of San Matteo, Pavia. "Many studies show that, in half the cases, this condition is of hereditary origin. The use of genetics will help us to identify people with the biomarkers that expose them to the risk of developing certain neuralgic conditions, enabling us to prevent and cure them in a more targeted manner. This has considerable social and economic importance since, with an aging population, in twenty years time our current healthcare systems will no longer be sustainable. Faced by limited resources, we need therapies that are ever more tailor-made."
"We trust that the World Medicine Park will continue to grow in the coming years with an increasing number of medical specializations interacting with one another while maintaining their individuality and high scientific value," said Jordi Moya Riera, President of the congress and the World Health Association. "For the 2015 edition, our invitation extends to all thea ctors of the healthcare community, working together to create a new medical sciences park that is even larger with more attendees as well as multidisciplinary aspects. Our sincere thanks to the Institutions of Minorca and the Balearic Islands for the unstinting support they have given to this event."
SOURCE World Medicine Park