Journal of IiME Volume 4 Issue 1 www.investinme.org The PACE TRIALS – MAGICAL MEDICINE The Medical Research Council (MRC)’s PACE Trial of behavioural interventions for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) attracted considerable opposition from the outset and the Principal Investigators had difficulty in recruiting a sufficient number of participants. PACE is the acronym for Pacing, Activity, and Cognitive behavioural therapy, a randomised Evaluation, interventions that, according to one of the Principal Investigators, are without theoretical foundation. The MRC’s PACE Trial seemingly inhabits a unique and unenviable position in the history of medicine. It is believed to be the first and only clinical trial that patients and the charities that support them have tried to stop before a single patient could be recruited and is the only clinical trial that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has ever funded. the unusual personal financial interest of the Chief Investigator; the vested interests of the Principal Investigators; high rates of Severe Adverse Events (SAEs) and in particular, the underlying non‐clinical purpose of the trial, which seems to have the politically generated aim of removing patients from benefits (i.e. the use of motivational behaviour therapy to achieve the intended result of the cessation of benefits for patients with “CFS/ME”). The Manuals used in the Trial seem to show that the authors either ignore medical science or they do not understand medical science. Since 1993, the giant US permanent health insurance company UNUM Provident has been advising the UK DWP about the most effective ways of curtailing sickness benefit payments. The PACE Trial is run by psychiatrists of the Wessely School, most of whom work for the medical and permanent health insurance industry, including UNUM Provident. These psychiatrists insist – in defiance of both the World Health Organisation and the significant biomedical evidence about the nature of it ‐‐ that “CFS/ME” is a behavioural disorder, into which they have subsumed ME, a classified neurological disorder whose separate existence they deny. Their beliefs have been repudiated in writing by the World Health Organisation. In 1992, the Wessely School gave directions that in ME/CFS, the first duty of the doctor is to avoid legitimisation of symptoms; in 1994, ME was described as merely “a belief”; in 1996 recommendations were made that no investigations should be performed to confirm the diagnosis and in 1999 patients wit ME/CFS were referred to as “the undeserving sick”. There are legitimate concerns about the MRC PACE Trial that are centred on apparent coercion, exploitation of patients, contempt in which patients are held, manipulation, pretension, misrepresentation, flawed studies yielding meaningless results and lack of scientific rigour; Invest in ME (Charity Nr. 1114035) There is rightful objection to the denial of appropriate investigations and to the nationwide implementation of behavioural modification as the sole management strategy for the nosological disorder ME/CFS. That strategy is believed to be based on (i) the commercial interests of the medical and permanent health insurance industry for which many members of the Wessely School work and (ii) the dissemination of misinformation about ME/CFS by the Wessely School, whose members also act as advisors to UK Government agencies including the DWP, which it is understood has specifically targeted “CFS/ME” as a disorder for which certain State benefits should not be available. The Wessely School rejects the significant body of biomedical evidence demonstrating that chronic “fatigue” or “tiredness” is not the same as the physiological exhaustion seen in ME/CFS and persists in believing that they have the right to demand a level of “evidence‐based” definitive proof that ME/CFS is not an “aberrant belief” as they assert, when their biopsychosocial model of “CFS/ME” that perpetuates their own aberrant belief about the nature of ME/CFS has been exposed by other psychiatrists as being nothing but a myth. There are some extremely disquieting issues surrounding the MRC PACE Trial and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act allow the full story to be told for the first time. from “Magical Medicine: How to Make a Disease Disappear” by Professor Hooper. See http://tinyurl.com/2uv8j95 Page 10/56

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