The Natural Health Product Research Society of Canada is a federally incorporated non-profit organization founded in 2003 by a collaboration of academic, industry, and government researchers from across Canada.
- Promote scientifically rigorous research and education on NHPs
- Develop a national research community that encompasses academic, health professional, government anda broad-base of industry stakeholders;
- Support national research priorities that best enable the informed and appropriate use of NHPs that are safe and efficacious; and
- Increase the capacity for NHP research and education.
- Facilitate effective NHP knowledge transfer and translation
- Support the use of science-based product quality standards and the use of well-characterized materials and protocols in research.
- Foster value-chain development through interdisciplinary NHP research collaborations and networking.
In 1998, Health Canada’s Natural Health Products Directorate began conducting consultations across the country to identify national Natural Health Product (NHP) research priorities. Although these conferences spanned topics ranging from pediatrics to law and ethics, several cross-cutting themes consistently emerged:
- The need for a national research network
- The need for a national research database
- Issues concerning product quality
- Funding barriers
In March 2003, leading NHP researchers from across Canada met in Winnipeg, Manitoba to discuss these points and to develop an effective strategy for addressing them. A key element emerging from the discussions was the need to form a national research society.
A volunteer committee was elected to accomplish this task. Its members contributed hundreds of hours to create an organizational framework and officially incorporate the NHPRS as a non-profit society. The Society’s first annual general meeting was held in Montreal, Québec in February of 2004 in conjunction with the first NHP Research conference. NHPRS has continued to hold acclaimed annual conferences in Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Toronto, attracting world-class scientists as presenters, as well as academic and industry attendees from around the globe.
The goal for these annual events is to draw participation of basic, clinical and social scientists, graduate students and post-docs interested in NHP research, as well as researchers and companies interested in cutting-edge research on NHPs, in areas including:
- product quality and standards,
- production and processing,
- product development and formulation,
- product safety and efficacy, and
- clinical use in the prevention and treatment of cancer, diabetes, neurological and immune disorders.
Since 2003, the NHPRS has held an annual research conference and a workshop NHPs in clinical practice.
Highlights from past events were shared through multiple channels, including publications of the American Herbal Products Association. The abstracts from Gateway to Wellness will reach a broader audience this year through publication in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology.