Patients now equal partners in arthritis research

Canadian Arthritis Network – CAN (NCE)


Before the creation of the Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN) in 1999 and its Consumer Advisory Council just months later, people living with arthritis had little say in directing research or health policies. Today, they are equal partners in the truest sense, as board members, advisors, peer reviewers and even research collaborators. They succeeded in making fatigue a research priority and in having modern drugs, called biologics, covered under provincial health plans. CAN’s Consumer Advisory Council was also instrumental in developing a landmark plan, launched November 2012, which advocates for better outcomes for those living with arthritis.

Is life for people living with arthritis getting better? I know it is. Because of CAN’s leadership, patients are getting access to the treatments we need and there’s greater awareness of rheumatoid and other types of arthritis. We’ve changed the culture. There’s no going back.Linda Wilhelm, co- chair, Consumer Advisory Council, Canadian Arthritis Network