November 21st, 2017

// Canadian economy takes $7.1 billion hit annually due to pain, according to Global Pain Index

Canadian economy takes $7.1 billion hit annually due to pain, according to Global Pain Index

GSK study finds Canadians missing out on work and family time due to pain1

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 21, 2017 /CNW/ - Body and head pain take a serious toll on the personal and professional lives of Canadians, according to a recent study by GSK. The Global Pain Index (GPI) examines the impact that pain has on people's lives, and found that Canadian workers lost an average of 1.8 working days due to body pain over the one-year survey period.2 Two-thirds (66%) of workers suffering from body pain say they regularly work through their pain, which causes a detrimental effect on their performance,3 as well as a hit on the Canadian economy.

Most Canadians are affected by pain, with two-thirds (65%) of Canadians experiencing body pain on a weekly basis.4 Beyond the economic implications, the GPI identified that pain is holding Canadians back in their personal lives, affecting time spent with friends and family. What's worse, over half of the respondents (58%) agreed that they would be better parents without pain.5

"The GPI results describe what I see in my office. The effects of body and head pain experienced by patients go beyond physical symptoms," says Dr. Yvette Lu. "Patients are burdened by their pain and it's impacting relationships with loved ones, as well as their emotional health and well-being."

According to the GPI, pain has a significant emotional and social impact on Canadians, with a majority of body pain sufferers feeling worried or anxious (77%).6 Surprisingly, pain also affects sufferers' self-perceptions, with more than half reporting that their pain makes them feel older than they are (57%) and four in ten feeling unattractive when they are in pain (42%).7

The study identified that while many Canadians are looking to non-prescription treatments to help manage their pain, it turns out that they don't know very much about the treatments they're using most often. The GPI found that only about one-third (31%) of Canadians are very or extremely knowledgeable about the potential risks associated with their medication,8 and only one in four (24%) report they know how it compares to other medications.9

Half of Canadians turn to oral pain treatments as a first method for treating their pain, and about 17% of patients look to treat pain with a cream or gel.10

"Patients are looking for solutions when it comes to managing pain," said Lu. "Most often, they grab a bottle of pills at the pharmacy, but there are also effective medicated topical options that work as anti-inflammatory pain relievers, reducing joint and muscle pain and helping to speed up the body's natural healing process, allowing sufferers to get back to doing the activities they love."

Visit for further information on the Better for Everyone commitment and existing GSK initiatives to help reduce the impact of physical pain.

About Voltaren
Voltaren®, part of GSK Consumer Health, is an anti-inflammatory pain reliever. Voltaren® contains medicated topical gels that provide patients with the relief of pain associated with acute, localized minor muscle or joint injury. Voltaren® is available in more than 130 countries worldwide. Diclofenac, the active ingredient, is one of the world's most widely-used pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medicines. It has been used effectively since the discovery of the agent in Switzerland 40 years ago. To learn more about pain and how to relieve pain effectively, go to

About GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is one of the world's largest over the-counter consumer healthcare products companies. Its more than 30 well-known brands include Voltaren Emulgel®, Aquafresh®, Sensodyne®, and TUMS® – which are trademarks owned by and/or licensed to GlaxoSmithKline Group of Companies. These brands are successful in over 100 countries around the world because they all show our passion for quality, guaranteed by science. They are inspired by the real wants and needs of the millions of people who walk into pharmacies, supermarkets, market stalls and go on-line all over the world every day, and choose us first.

GlaxoSmithKline's goal is to build a global, growing business called Fast Moving Consumer Healthcare (FMCH), dedicated to everyday healthcare with all of the scientific expertise and quality guarantees that demands, working at the speed and with the genuine consumer understanding the modern world expects.

About GlaxoSmithKline Inc. (GSK)
One of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information, please visit

About the Global Pain Index
The Global Pain Index research was completed by Edelman Intelligence, a global insights and consultancy firm. Interviews were conducted online between 14 September and 2 November 2016 with controlled samples to ensure a nationally representative sample of the online population in each country surveyed (age, gender and region).

In total, Edelman Intelligence spoke to 19,000+ respondents in 32 markets (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UK and USA). A minimum of 500 interviews were completed in all countries except in the US, UK, Germany, Sweden and Australia (1,000 interviews).



1 Global Pain Index. Canadian data. 2017.
2 Global Pain Index. Canadian data. 2017.
3 Global Pain Index. Canadian data. 2017.
4 Global Pain Index. Canadian data. 2017.
5 Global Pain Index. Canadian data. 2017.
6 Global Pain Index. Canadian data. 2017.
7 Global Pain Index. Canadian data. 2017.
8 Global Pain Index. Canadian data. 2017.
9 Global Pain Index. Canadian data. 2017.
10 Global Pain Index. Canadian data. 2017.


SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline Inc.


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