Chronic pain and cough are high prevalence conditions that, despite much effort and commitment, remain undertreated. Indeed, little advancement has been made in the discovery and clinical application of new medicines that, with a good efficacy and safety profile, may cure patients. As a matter of fact, introduction into clinical practice of most drugs currently available to treat pain and cough dates to the latter part of the 19th century. These include opiates, paracetamol, non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, ergotamine, and few others. Thus, the need for a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms that convert acute episodes of pain and cough into a chronic and debilitating condition is of paramount importance for identifying new targets amenable for drug discovery. During recent decades important acquisitions have been made that require clinical validation. Nevertheless, more has to be done, and the founding idea of the present meeting is to put together experts in the field of both pain and cough to share and combine knowledge and techniques in two areas that present undoubted similarities. The hope is to boost a vivid discussion and novel proposals that, from combining two areas of intense investigation, may create an added value for academic and industrial research and provide new hope to patients.
Co-Presidents of the Meeting Giovanni A. Fontana and Pierangelo Geppetti