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Chronic Pain UK Areas of Interest

Healthcare organisations are invited to submit grant requests to our internal medicines business unit for the support of independent medical and/or scientific initiatives, that are aligned to Pfizer's medical and/or scientific strategies.


Specifically, our chronic pain team will consider applications for research, education and service improvement in the following areas:


Chronic Pain associated with Osteoarthritis (OA)

Independent Medical Grant areas to be considered for Pfizer support include:


Projects that address the following research gaps:

  • Prospective data capture, improvement in recording of pain-related and functional outcomes to facilitate better real-world research in OA pain.
  • Use of biomarkers in assessment and management of OA, including imaging.
  • Understanding of radiographic progression of OA, association between imaging and chronic pain associated with OA, progression and trajectories linked to phenotype/biomarkers.
  • Evaluation of current practice in OA, including adherence to OA NICE guidelines, pathway analysis for patients with chronic pain associated with OA, and service redesign.
  • Innovative or quality improvement approaches to optimisation of clinical management in chronic pain associated with OA across the healthcare network.
  • HCP educational approaches to optimisation of clinical management of chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis.
  • Basic and pre-clinical research in the etiology of pain in OA.
  • Cost-effectiveness of approaches to OA pain management in line with national/local recommendations about access to care/treatments.


Projects that address the following healthcare gaps:

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic many pain services and elective surgery have been severely disrupted, leading to extensive waiting times for many patients referred for total joint replacement surgery of more than a year, which is substantially longer than the target waiting times for elective surgery of 18 weeks. These extended waiting times exacerbate the already high humanistic burden experienced by patients eligible for surgery.
  • There is a need for effective comprehensive multidisciplinary management of patients with moderate-to-severe pain associated with OA within community-based services, incorporating specialist input. The importance of improving pain and function is critical to impacting patient outcomes. Initiatives that have a clear link to benefit to the NHS as a service provider and / or enhance patient care are needed. Current management and treatment options may benefit from informed clinical reflection and service redesign as well as consideration of cost-effective approaches to maintaining patient outcomes at lower cost or improving outcomes without an increase in cost.  NICE OA guidelines specifically state that "Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied".
  • In musculoskeletal services the use of technology to support virtual consultations and multidisciplinary team discussions and other innovative approaches to patient management have become increasingly important to maintain patient care during the current pandemic.  These innovative services are likely to remain important as the NHS aims to build back better over the coming years.
    • Improving education among health care professionals (HCP), evidence generation, review and researching/auditing current clinical management pathways for chronic pain in OA has the potential to address the healthcare needs of patients highlighted by organisations such as NICE, Versus Arthritis, British Pain Society, British Society for Rheumatology, British Orthopaedic Association, etc.
    • Virtual and innovative approaches to HCP education are also important.
  • There is a need to evaluate new MSK services, and in understanding how they are operating compared to standard of care, whilst maintaining quality and reducing unwanted variation (i.e. GIRFT standards)


For all independent medical grants, the grant recipient is responsible for the design, implementation, sponsorship, and conduct of the independent initiative supported by the grant, including compliance with any regulatory requirements.

Pfizer must not be involved in any aspect of project development, nor its conduct or monitoring.

To discuss your potential independent medical grant application for any of the above areas, please phone 01304 616161 and ask to speak to a member of the Internal Medicines medical affairs team.

PP-GIP-GBR-5028 / June 2021