As ever: you asked, we listened…
We are delighted to be sharing with you a set of US-based self-care days, sponsored by Intercept Pharmaceuticals.
These days, between 9.30am and 3.30pm will focus on peer support, on PBC, and on emotional, psychological and physical self-care as you live each day with PBC. The events will be open to patients registered with the Foundation and also caregivers, and will bring a wide range of different tools and techniques to empower you on your PBC journey. As well as learning lots, there will be opportunities to connect with other patients and caregivers from your area, so as to help address any feelings of isolation.
These build on a raft of events in the UK, and we very much look forward to welcoming you in these cities:
|New York||20 Oct||9.30am|
|St Louis||23 Oct||9.30am|
|San Francisco||25 Oct||9.30am|
|Washington DC||31 Oct||9.30am|
Booking is essential so if you would like to attend please click the link for the city above and complete the form.
These sessions are part our registered community services so if you haven’t registered with the Foundation, you can do so here for free: https://www.pbcfoundation.org.uk/members/login-register/
If you are having log-in issues, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement from the PBC Foundation Medical Advisory Board
Since our last advice about Covid, there have been major developments. Although infections are still prevalent, the infections tend to be less severe, a smaller proportion of patients are admitted to hospital because of Covid and deaths from Covid are far fewer. Vaccination has been very effective and safe and treatments for those with Covid are far more effective in preventing serious illness and death. However, despite the relaxations in social activities, Covid has not gone away; infections are occurring, and, although for most people, the infection is mild, it may be serious and long Covid can affect many people.
Thus, while there is a great deal to celebrate, Covid has not gone away and will continue to affect us. People with PBC, especially those with advanced disease, and those on immunosuppression are among those who are at greater risk. Note that UDCA and obeticholic acid are not immunosuppressive agents.
Advice from the Medical Advisory Committee includes:
Get yourself vaccinated: if you are eligible for vaccination, whether first, second, third or booster, take full advantage of the offer and get vaccinated. There are very few side effects from the vaccine and these contrast with the many, proven benefits to yourself and others: vaccinated people are less likely to get severe disease, less likely to require hospital admission, less likely to die from Covid and less likely to infect others.
Take sensible precautions:
• if you are in an enclosed space, consider wearing an appropriate mask, keep your distance where possible and ensure adequate ventilation
• Continue to use hand washing and sanitisation
• Avoid contact with people known to have Covid
Do go out and meet others: maintaining physical activity and keeping our mental health are important too.
For the clinically vulnerable
This group includes those who are on immunosuppressive drugs and those with advanced liver disease; if you are in this group, guidance includes:
• considering whether you and those you are meeting have been vaccinated – you might want to wait until 14 days after everyone’s most recent dose of a Covid-19 vaccine before being in close contact with others
• asking friends and family to take a rapid lateral flow antigen test before visiting you
• asking home visitors to wear face covering
• avoiding enclosed crowded spaces
Work for those who are immunosuppressed: HSE Guidance for England includes the following:
• UK government public health guidance advises people who are immunosuppressed or clinically extremely vulnerable, to work from home if they can. If they cannot work from home, they should talk to their employer about any temporary arrangements that could be made to reduce the risks.
• Employers have responsibilities to their employees who are immunosuppressed or clinically extremely vulnerable or live with people who are in these categories. Employers can help to support these workers by explaining clearly how they are managing the risks from Covid-19, asking and responding to any concerns they may have and making sure everyone works safely. Factors that should be included in addressing the employee’s safety are travel to and from work as well as in the work place.
Please note that the situation regarding Covid-19 is continually changing and advice given by the UK’s 4 nations varies. The advice given above is current at the time of writing, but further details should be obtained from the national bodies.
More information is available at:
Professor James Neuberger, Chairman of the PBC Foundation Medical Advisory Board, shares an important message with us. Click here to view: https://youtu.be/YVyNetPmOk4
We are delighted to inform you that within the Health Awareness section of today’s edition of the Guardian, there are several articles about “Your Liver” including a contribution by our CEO, Collette Thain MBE about Primary biliary cholangitis. To view Collette’s contribution click here: https://bit.ly/2vXrjVK
by Dr George Mells
CymaBay Therapeutics, a drug company focussed on developing medications for liver diseases including primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), recently announced that it had stopped all studies of a potential new medication called Seladelpar. This is because, in a recent clinical trial of Seladelpar in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, some of the people taking the drug developed inflammation of the liver. Seladelpar was a potential new medication for PBC, so it is disappointing that all studies of this drug have been stopped. On the other hand, patient safety is critical: if there is any suggestion that a medication might be harmful, it is better to err on the side of caution and stop people from taking that drug. CymaBay’s actions are a testament to the rigour with which clinical trials are conducted, and people with PBC will no doubt be relieved that the potentially harmful effects of Seladelpar were picked up during the trial phase.
Some people with PBC might have taken part in a previous clinical trial of Seladelpar. These people have nothing to worry about. They were monitored very closely during the clinical trial, and any problems were identified and addressed at the time of the trial. If they are worried, however, they should get in touch with their liver doctors.
For further information, please see: https://ir.stockpr.com/cymabay/press-releases/detail/476