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Chronic pain research and treatment in Quebec gets $4.35M boost


Montreal, QC – Two of Canada’s leading pharmaceutical companies are joining forces with the Fonds de la recherche en sante du Quebec (FRSQ) and the province’s Health and Social Services Ministry (MSSS) to support pain researchers and clinics affiliated with four medical-research universities.

The partnership – said to be a first in Canada – is designed to strengthen what is already the country’s leading pain research and treatment network, the Quebec Pain Research Network (QPRN), which links pain clinics at Quebec’s four university-hospital networks and more than 75 doctors and researchers specialized in chronic pain.

Under the partnership, Pfizer Canada, AstraZeneca, the FRSQ and MSSS will provide $4.35 million over four years to fund research and education that will improve our understanding of chronic pain and help doctors diagnose and treat pain more effectively.

“Chronic pain is a devastating and debilitating silent epidemic and we need better knowledge and treatments for doctors and patients,” said Dr Yves de Koninck, scientific director of the QPRN and professor affiliated with Laval University and the university’s Centre de recherche Universite Laval Robert-Giffard. “More than a million Quebecers – about one in five – will suffer from chronic pain during their lifetime. The economic costs alone in health care and loss of productivity are staggering – an estimated $125 billion a year in the US.”

The QPRN groups researchers and doctors at Universite de Montreal, Universite de Sherbrooke, Universite Laval and McGill University, as well as their teaching hospitals, government organizations and the Association Quebecoise de la douleur chronique, Quebec’s leading patient group.

The partnership investment is $4.35 million over four years. The FRSQ has committed $2 million over four years, Pfizer Canada $1.2 million over four years, AstraZeneca $750,000 over three years, and MSSS $400,000 over four years.