HealthCareCAN, the national voice of healthcare organizations in Canada, marked International Clinical Trials Day on May 20, 2015, with the release of a partnership agreement with the Network of Networks (N2) and a new web resource consolidating access to the Clinical Trial information webpages of its leading academic healthcare organizations.
“International Clinical Trials Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to clinical trial researchers and staff, the patients who partake in clinical trials, and the organizations that provide infrastructure and resources for the safe and effective execution of research on new and better therapies” says Dr. Duncan Stewart, Executive Vice President at the Ottawa Hospital and HealthCareCAN’s representative to the Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre, a new endeavour designed to streamline selected clinical trials processes.
International Clinical Trials Day was designed to commemorate the first clinical trial which resulted in a treatment for scurvy as far back as 1747. Since then, clinical trials have been conducted all over the world. In Canada, over 30 per cent of all clinical trials are conducted in academic health care organizations. These organizations dedicate substantial resources to ensuring that their infrastructure can support their safe, ethical and effective conduct. They often provide points of contact and information about this infrastructure on their websites.
According to a recent survey commissioned by Research Canada in collaboration with HealthCareCAN, the Association of Faculties of Medicine, the Health Charities Coalition of Canada, Rx&D, the Saskatoon Health Research Foundation, and the Michael Smith Health Research Foundation, 70 per cent of Canadians feel that health research is part of the Canadian culture and 70 per cent of Canadians also feel that they would like to get involved in health research.
The issue is that only 30 per cent feel they are aware of what opportunities exist. This new resource may help to draw the attention of Canadians to the research being conducted in their healthcare organizations. HealthCareCAN’s new webpage will consolidate these sources for easy access by patients, providers, policy makers, the public and industry.
In addition, HealthCareCAN and the Network of Networks (N2), which is an alliance for excellence in clinical research, announced a partnership agreement to facilitate their joint goals in clinical research. The Network of Networks consists of the operational leaders that enable the safe, effective, and efficient conduct of clinical trials in many HealthCareCAN member organizations. This partnership signifies the alignment of a large number of strategic and operational leaders ready to advance Canada’s clinical research standing on the world stage.
“We applaud the efforts of these organizations and all those engaged in clinical research in Canada,” says Dr. David Hill, one of the two HealthCareCAN research co-chairs and the Integrated Vice President Research at London Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare in London. “Collaboration is particularly important in a year where the Federal Budget was very constrained in the provision of additional funds for the federal granting agency for health research, CIHR. It is important that Canada remains a global player in generating new knowledge that can continuously improve our quality of healthcare.”
Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos, also a HealthCareCAN Research Co- Chair and Executive Director of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, agrees. “We hope that by International Clinical Trials Day 2016, we will also be able to celebrate additional funding for CIHR to better back our leading scientists. The importance of their work in helping to overcome disability and disease deserves this country’s full support.“