Survey for prospective uveitis trial – help required

If you suffer from birdshot, or some other form of posterior uveitis (idiopathic, sarcoidosis, PIC, scleritis, etc) you may like to take part in this survey about a prospective uveitis trial for adalimumab in which Birdshot Uveitis Society are involved and trying to get funded. Your input as a patient is very important and we would really appreciate your help. To do so, follow the link below. There are only 8 short questions. Your response is anonymised and there is no need to leave an email address if you don’t want to. It would be most helpful if you say the country where you live. Thank you so much in advance.

https://qtrial2011.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe2/form/SV_e4jh8nDnKVLTZmB

If you prefer to fill in a paper survey you will find a link to a pdf here which you can download, print and fill in with a pen or as a PDF, whichever you prefer. PDF link.

Please return your responses either by email to info@birdshot.org.uk or by post to PO Box 64996, London SW20 2BL.

Individual funding request – a call for help!

Have you and your consultant tried and failed to get access to a much-needed birdshot uveitis treatment, such as the biologic treatments adalimumab or infliximab?

If so, this is a call for help directed to English and Welsh birdshotters who have tried unsuccessfully to gain approval to use these specialised treatments through Individual Funding Requests (IFRs). Currently, IFRs are the only way that we can hope to receive these treatments. We believe that the present situation is that nearly all IFRs are being turned down.

NHS England is currently consulting on four of its ‘generic’ policies. These are policies to commission treatments outside the normal annual commissioning cycle. We need to influence this process.

Genetic Alliance UK wants to submit a response to the NHS consultation that truly represents the experiences of the rare and genetic disease community.

Please tell us about your funding experiences via the following link that takes you to Genetic Alliance UK’s short survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/IFRcallforevidence

Thank you.

 

 

Have you struggled to get Humira treatment?

We recently heard from Genetic Alliance who are keen to learn about people who have struggled to get humira to treat their uveitis.  Here is an extract from their recent email to us:-

Genetic Alliance UK has been looking at access to medicine for rare disease patients. NHS England has provided us with a list of medicines requested through IFRs over the past year. One of these, Adalimumab (Humira), I believe could have been for patients with Uveitis.

I was wondering whether you have any information or case studies of your members struggling to access this medicine, and whether you would be willing to share it with us?

We are planning to do some policy work around this issue, so would be grateful for any assistance you can provide.

If you live in the UK and are able to help with this please do get in touch with BUS at info@birdshot.org.uk.

Many thanks

Specialist commissioning process update

Birdshot Uveitis Society members based in England may be aware we have been awaiting the results of the Specialist Commissioning process which has been going on over the last year. This is the process whereby government will decide which drugs are available for different rare conditions depending on the evidence that is available which shows that the drugs are effective.

We had been led to believe that the outcomes would be announced in December.  The recent news is that the decision making process had been delayed as a result of the threat of legal action by a patient group, (nothing to do with eyes or ophthalmology, but some other rare condition), who felt that the process was unfair.

In the meantime we’d be interested to hear from any patients with Birdshot Uveitis in the UK who have been turned down for treatment with either Humira or Infliximab and whose consultants are struggling to control the inflammation in their eyes with the more usual treatments. It would be interesting to get some idea about the numbers involved and to see what can be done to help.

Please do get in touch with BUS info@birdshot.org.uk and let us know if you have been experiencing this difficulty.

Cast your vote please !

Where should the next UK Birdshot Day be held?

We’d like to canvass your opinion on where the next Birdshot Day should be held?  The date we are aiming for is March 2015.

To keep it simple we have 3 suggestions to choose from with the opportunity for you to make your own suggestion if preferred.

It’s a bit of an experiment as we have never used this software before, but do please do cast your votes and let us know which of the following locations you would prefer.

Many thanks

The Birdshot Team

What are your Birdshot priorities?

Last year many of you very kindly completed the Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership survey and following this we have now received a short list of a number of “uncertainties” to consider.   We want to know which 10 “uncertainties”  are most important to you.  Please see below, ( or – Inflammatory FORM A_James Lind Alliance Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership).  This is your chance to influence the direction taken by eye researchers on our behalf. Continue reading

Quality of Life follow-up questionnaire

Last week we sent out a very short follow-up quality of life questionnaire to participants of our 1st questionnaire who kindly gave us their email address to allow us to follow-up.

We’d really  like to see how things may have changed for you since undertaking the 1st survey.  We do hope that you will all complete this as soon as possible as it will provide helpful data to supplement the original data .

If you have not received the email with the link to the survey and you think you should have, please get in touch with me at annie@birdshot.org.uk so that I can resend the link to you.

Many thanks to all who have already completed it.  We do appreciate your continued help with this useful research.

Annie

Help change your future!

We are posting this again and hope that if you have not already completed this short survey you can find the time to do it.  Your help with this survey could help change future treatment for  all Birdshotters!

 

Rea and Annie

The Sight Loss and Vision Survey is a joint initiative between Fight for Sight, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, The College of Optometrists, the National Institute of Health Research, RNIB and The James Lind Alliance. It has been set up to find those areas of research that have not yet been identified. For us with Birdshot, this is really important, as we have a rare disease, and very little research has been carried out to date. This is our opportunity to get Birdshot (and other rare, auto-immune forms of posterior uveitis) on the national agenda. Because the survey will be completed by patients, it will have great credibility and it is hoped that funds can then be identified for some of the research needs.

The James Lind Alliance is a non-profit making organisation, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, which will oversee this initiative ensuring the exercise produces an unbiased result, with equal weighting being given to each of the participating groups – so your opinion really will count.

The Sight Loss and Vision Survey will allow you to identify your most pressing questions about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Birdshot.

The more Birdshotters that complete the survey the more likely we are to be able to influence the research agenda and receive valuable funding from the government for research into Birdshot – we really do need you to take part.

To complete the survey and learn more about this initiative please visit www.sightlosspsp.org.uk where you will find both the online survey and can request alternative formats – post/fax or telephone.

The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete so please take this opportunity to represent Birdshot and help change the future of eye research.

Thank you!

 

Help Us Make Birdshot a Priority For Research!

We are re-posting this, as the survey ends on 31 July, and we need as many responses as we can get, in order to make sure that Birdshot becomes a priority for research.  If you have not already done so, please complete this survey.  It is quick and simple to do.  We have posted some ideas about what kind of research is needed into Birdshot at the end of this post, to help stimulate debate, and give you some ideas.  Remember that the more people who respond mentioning Birdshot, the more likely we are to get Birdshot as a priority!

The Sight Loss and Vision Survey is a joint initiative between Fight for Sight, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, The College of Optometrists, the National Institute of Health Research, RNIB and The James Lind Alliance.  It has been set up to find those areas of research that have not yet been identified.  For us with Birdshot, this is really important, as we have a rare disease, and very little research has been carried out to date.  This is our opportunity to get Birdshot (and other rare, auto-immune forms of posterior uveitis) on the national agenda.  Because the survey will be completed by patients, it will have great credibility and it is hoped that funds can then be identified for some of the research needs.

The James Lind Alliance is a non-profit making organisation, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, which will oversee this initiative ensuring the exercise produces an unbiased result, with equal weighting being given to each of the participating groups – so your opinion really will count.

The Sight Loss and Vision Survey will allow you to identify your most pressing questions about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Birdshot.

The more Birdshotters that complete the survey the more likely we are to be able to influence the research agenda and receive valuable funding from the government for research into Birdshot – we really do need you to take part.

To complete the survey and learn more about this initiative please visit www.sightlosspsp.org.uk where you will find both the online survey and can request alternative formats – post/fax or telephone.

The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete so please take this opportunity to represent Birdshot and help change the future of eye research.

Thank you!

1.  What causes Birdshot?

2.  Which part of the immune system becomes disregulated?

3.  How do you re-regulate the immune system without damaging the body?

4.  How can we find less toxic medication that does not adversely affect mental health and quality of life, but preserves vision?

5.  How can we ensure early detection of Birdshot to prevent sight loss?

6.  What are the genetic links and why are several generations of some families affected, and why does it seem to affect mainly Caucasians?

7.  Why is there a ‘spectrum’ of Birdshot?

8.  Why do different people respond differently to different medication regimes?

9.  Why is Birdshot treated systemically with toxic medications which adversely affect mental health and quality of life, when it seems to be confined to the eyes?

10.What does the link to HLA A29 mean in relation to treatment?

11.  What is the risk/benefit analysis of toxic treatment to prevent blindness versus blindness?

12.  What are the long term costs to health and social care of blindness which could have been prevented through the use of off license or off label medications?

13.  Is Birdshot best treated by ophthalmologists or should a clinical specialism of immunology be developed?

14.  Can holistic therapies such as acupuncture, meditation, hypnotherapy help in preventing or treating Birdshot?

15.  Can supplements, such as vitamin D or other therapies treat Birdshot less toxically than current medications?