CRAC was started in May 1988 – making it over 25 years old! That is significant.
The medical group of PMAC (better known as Rx&D but now known as IMC – Innovative Medicines Canada) mandated the establishment of a group for clinical research, focused on CRAs, similar to CAPRA which is for the Regulatory Affairs group. Initially, PMAC restricted membership to employees of PMAC member companies. PMAC provided some seed money to get things started. Volunteers were requested to step forward at a Medical Group meeting. Those initial volunteers were Habib Ali, Najib Babul, Denise Legacé, Hilde Mesic, Norah Ryley and Martha Watson. They were all friends and met initially at the Unicorn Pub at Yonge and Eglinton. It was a lively night of great discussions and ended up with the name – Clinical Research Association of Canada – that had an easy to remember acronym CRAC – remember this was BEFORE the street drug crack was on the scene! This group held many organizational meetings at various offices, sent out mailings to the industry announcing the formation of CRAC and wrote the constitution. The initial response from the industry was extremely positive! The first CRAC meeting was held in June 1988 at the Bristol Place Hotel in the Toronto airport strip. The dinner meeting with a speaker format worked very well – a successful meeting that grew into many more from there. The initial Objectives/Mission statement was “To provide a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas relevant to all aspects of pharmaceutical clinical research.” Since then, CRAC has expanded to also include aspects of biotechnology and device clinical research. CRAC has also expanded membership beyond the Rx&D companies to better reflect the individuals involved in clinical research. The meetings started out strictly in Toronto. Now we have meetings in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. If you want to start meetings in your city, please contact us! Expanding across Canada more would be wonderful. www.craconline.ca