GATINEAU, Quebec, October 28, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Over 4 million Canadians suffer from arthritis, but only a tiny percentage of them are involved in influencing arthritis research in Canada. The Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) of the Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN) hopes to change that by launching a Highly Qualified Consumer (HQC) Database that will store information about Canadians willing to volunteer as consultants or collaborators to arthritis researchers.
"As a person with arthritis, I want to have a say in how arthritis research is conducted, but I can't be a collaborator on every project taking place in the country," says John Coderre, a member of CAN's Consumer Advisory Council and HQC Database project leader. "If this succeeds, it will be a model for other countries to follow."
The HQC Database is a natural extension of the work the CAC does. These 10 volunteers, along with three allied members, serve as volunteers on research projects and help guide the direction of research within CAN. The HQC Database will allow other people living with arthritis to share this important role.
"The economic burden of arthritis was estimated to be $6.4 billion in 2000 and arthritis research receives far less funding than other chronic diseases," explains Dr. Claire Bombardier, Co-Scientific Director of the Canadian Arthritis Network. "Creating a resource for investigators to help them conduct research that is relevant and meets unmet needs will help ensure that grant money is well spent."
10th Annual Scientific Conference
Potential users of the HQC Database are being introduced to it at CAN's Annual Scientific Conference in Gatineau, Quebec. Over 250 basic scientists, clinical investigators, researchers, members of industry and government, and people with arthritis are experiencing a full agenda of scientific presentations and networking opportunities to encourage research collaborations between investigators from different institutions across the country.
This year's conference is being held in partnership with CAPRI (Canadian Alliance for Pediatric Rheumatology Investigators) and features sessions on the following topics: Joint Pain Across the Lifespan; Patient Oriented Research - Outcomes that Matter; and, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine: Hype, Hope and Help for those with Joint Disease.
About the Canadian Arthritis Network
The Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN) (www.arthritisnetwork.ca) is a not-for-profit organization, funded by the Government of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence (www.nce.gc.ca), to support arthritis research and development and to facilitate the commercialization of its Network Investigators' discoveries. CAN is the single point of contact that links over 200 leading Canadian arthritis researchers and clinicians, 45 Canadian academic institutions, The Arthritis Society, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and government.