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What is the James Lind Alliance (JLA)? The JLA is a non-profit making initiative which was established in 2004. It brings patients, carers and clinicians (healthcare professionals) together in Priority Setting Partnerships to identify and prioritise the unanswered questions about treatments that they agree are most important. The JLA’s work is carried out by a small number of JLA Advisers. It is coordinated and overseen by the National Institute for Health Research Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC), home to a growing number of research programmes, at the University of Southampton.  What are JLA Priority Setting Partnerships? Priority Setting Partnerships focus on a particular condition or healthcare issue. They consist of individuals and organisations representing patients with the condition, their carers and the healthcare professionals who treat them. The JLA has worked with a wide range of Priority Setting Partnerships including for asthma, urinary incontinence, vitiligo, prostate cancer, type 1 diabetes, schizophrenia, eczema, stroke, sight loss & vision, cleft lip & palate, dementia, preterm birth, tinnitus, Lyme disease, pressure ulcers and acne. What do Priority Setting Partnerships do? Priority Setting Partnerships work to identify and prioritise unanswered questions about treatment, for research. These are also known as treatment uncertainties. A Partnership will go through a process of ranking/voting and discussion to agree a final list of 10 top priorities, which will then be available to research funders. Why patients, carers and clinicians? Research on the effects of treatments often overlooks the shared priorities of patients, carers and clinicians. The pharmaceutical industry and academia play essential roles in developing and testing new treatments, but their priorities are not necessarily the same as those of patients, carers and clinicians. Many areas of potentially important research are therefore neglected. The JLA exists to address this imbalance. Who was James Lind? Two hundred and fifty years ago, there were many conflicting ideas and unanswered questions about how to treat the deadly disease scurvy. Scottish naval surgeon James Lind (1716-1794) confronted this uncertainty by treating his patients within a clinical trial comparing six of the proposed remedies. His trial - the first clinical trial of its kind - showed that oranges and lemons were the best treatment.
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