The British Ivermectin Recommendation Development Group (BIRD) is a truly grassroots initiative bringing together clinicians, health researchers and patient representatives from all around the world to advocate for the use of ivermectin against covid-19.
The seed was planted late in December, when Dr. Tess Lawrie watched Dr. Pierre Kory of the Front-Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) testify before the US Senate on the potential of ivermectin for prevention and treatment of covid-19. She looked into the data and decided to conduct a rapid systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the data for herself. She was struck by the seeming efficacy of the drug in reducing mortality and morbidity, and, as a doctor, considered it her duty to inform the UK health authorities about this potential breakthrough treatment.
She wrote to the authorities, and when no one replied, she made a video appeal directly to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Early in January, Dr. Tess Lawrie and a small team from the Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy in Bath, came together to plan the first meeting of the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development Group, inviting health professionals and patient representatives to share with them the evidence from her rapid systematic review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19. On Wednesday, the 13th of January, 2021, Dr. Lawrie presented the evidence to 20 experts and stakeholders from the USA, Belgium, South Africa and the UK, including 13 clinicians and medical researchers, and seven public/consumer/media representatives. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Jim Neilson from the University of Liverpool. The consensus that emerged from this initial meeting was that the evidence that ivermectin prevents morbidity and mortality from Covid-19 was so compelling, that further placebo-controlled clinical trials of ivermectin (versus no ivermectin) for treatment of covid-19 would be unethical.
The next BIRD group meeting, held a month later, was attended by over 60 experts from around the world who evaluated the updated evidence on ivermectin for covid-19 and subsequently made a recommendation document for the implementation of ivermectin for covid-19, using the standard procedures for guideline development as described in the World Health Organization Handbook for Guideline Development. The attendees of this second meeting make up the core of the BIRD group, and have continued to actively engage with its aims in a number of ways.
The BIRD document was widely disseminated to government health authorities and agencies in the UK and a number of other countries.
In over two days in May, BIRD organized and hosted the first International Ivermectin for Covid Conference, featuring talks and discussions from 12 world-class medical researchers, frontline medics and data analysts. The event, hastily assembled in just 10 days by the BIRD group, was unwavering in its mission; to share the most up-to-date evidence on ivermectin for prevention and treatment of Covid-19, and to overcome regulatory obstacles that currently prevent GPs from prescribing it to save and improve lives.
In the meantime, Dr. Lawrie has worked tirelessly to get the message about ivermectin out: she has given countless interviews, testified in court on behalf of organisations advocating for the authorization of ivermectin, and made presentations to government and medical professional groups all around the world.