The James Lind Alliance (JLA) was established in 2004 by Sir Iain Chalmers (co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration), Dr John Scadding (then Dean of the Royal Society of Medicine) and Sir Nick Partridge (former Chair of INVOLVE).

The original launch and aims of the JLA were described in an article in The Lancet.  The JLA's evolution during the years 2003-2013 (as part of the James Lind Initiative) is described in an article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

The first Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) was completed in Asthma in 2007. It was described as a ‘JLA Working Partnership’ involving the British Thoracic Society and Asthma UK. Methods, outcomes and learning from this work were documented and built on, and a second PSP in Urinary Incontinence was completed in November 2008. These early PSPs were supported by the original JLA Advisers, Lester Firkins, Sally Crowe and Katherine Cowan.

Completion of a PSP in Vitiligo followed in March 2010 and as awareness of the JLA increased, the numbers of PSPs grew.

Who was James Lind? 

The James Lind Alliance (JLA) is named after a pioneer of clinical trials, James Lind. In the 1700s, there were many conflicting ideas about how to treat the deadly disease scurvy. James Lind, a Scottish naval surgeon, decided to confront this uncertainty by treating his patients within a clinical trial comparing the proposed remedies. He allocated two sailors to each of six different treatments for a period of 14 days. His trial showed that oranges and lemons were dramatically better than the other supposed treatments.

More information about James Lind (opens in new window)

James Lind: The man who helped to cure scurvy with lemons, BBC, 4 October 2016

Historic Figures, from BBC History