Canadian Arthritis Group Launches Database

The Highly Qualified Consumer Database will store information about Canadians that suffer from arthritis.

The Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) of the Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN) is launching a Highly Qualified Consumer (HQC) Database that will store information about Canadians that suffer from arthritis.

The data collected could help provide insight into the prevalence of the disease and provide new research.

“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,” said John Coderre, a member of CAN's Consumer Advisory Council and HQC Database project leader, in a press release. “If this succeeds, it will be a model for other countries to follow.”

The data will be collected from citizens that are willing to volunteer as consultants or collaborators to arthritis researchers. More than 4 million Canadians suffer from arthritis.

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,” said Dr. Claire Bombardier, co-scientific director of the Canadian Arthritis Network, in a press release. “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.”

Potential users of the HQC Database are being introduced to it at CAN's Annual Scientific Conference in Gatineau, Quebec. More than 250 basic scientists, clinical investigators, researchers, members of industry and government, and people with arthritis are attending the conferences, which features a full agenda of scientific presentations and networking opportunities to encourage research collaborations between investigators from different institutions across the country.

The 2010 conference features sessions on the following topics such as 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.

CAN is a not-for-profit organization, funded by the Government of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence, 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.

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