36 more scientists join open letter to Lancet on PACE


An international group of 36 scientists and clinicians have added their names to an open letter that was sent three months ago to The Lancet, pointing out serious problems in the PACE trial.

The letter, sent on 13 November, told The Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, that “such flaws have no place in published research” and urged him to commission a fully independent review of the study.

Dr. Horton’s office had told the original signatories — Drs. Ronald Davis, Jonathan Edwards, Leonard Jason, Bruce Levin, Vincent Racaniello and Arthur Reingold — that he would respond to the letter when he returned from travelling. But, Dr. Racaniello now says, Dr. Horton had “remained silent”.

Dr. Racaniello continued, “Today, therefore, we are reposting the open letter and resending it to The Lancet and Dr. Horton, with the names of three dozen more leading scientists and clinicians, most of them well-known experts in the ME/CFS field. We still hope and expect that Dr. Horton will address — rather than continue to ignore — these critical concerns about the PACE study.”

The additional signatories are almost all from the US, with a handful from Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Only three are from the UK, where the PACE trial was conducted. Professor James Coyne has said, “A considerable proportion of all persons and institutions involved in researching chronic fatigue and related conditions in the UK have a close connection to PACE. This raises issues about… the security of potential critics contemplating speaking out about whatever bad science they find in the PACE trial articles.” None of the British signatories — Drs. Charles Shepherd, Nigel Speight and William Weir — currently work for the National Health Service or in universities.

The new signatories are Drs. Dharam Ablashi, James Baraniuk, Lisa Barcellos, Lucinda Bateman, David Bell, Alison Bested, Gordon Broderick, John Chia, Lily Chu, Derek Enlander, Mary Ann Fletcher, Kenneth Friedman, David Kaufman, Nancy Klimas, Charles  Lapp, Susan Levine, Alan Light, Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik, Peter Medveczky, Zaher Nahle, James Oleske, Richard Podell, Charles Shepherd, Christopher Snell, Nigel Speight, Donald Staines, Philip Stark, Eleanor Stein, John Swartzberg, Ronald Tompkins, Rosemary Underhill, Rosamund Vallings, Michael VanElzakker, William Weir, Marcie Zinn, and Mark Zinn.

Their affiliations include Harvard University, Columbia University, and the University of California, Berkeley.

If any researchers or clinicians would like to add their signature to the master list, please email #MEAction at info@meaction.net with your name and the affiliation you would like displayed.

 


Categories: All News, Featured news, Global, Research, United Kingdom, United States

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3 comments on “36 more scientists join open letter to Lancet on PACE
  1. Season says:

    I’m so glad to hear that so many more respected doctors have added their names to this critically important work. Thank you from a ME sufferer.

  2. Jo Best says:

    One of the original signatories, Professor Jonathan Edwards, is in UK. He is a member of the UK charity Invest in ME Research Advisory Board. Invest in ME also wrote to Dr. Richard Horton, Editor of The Lancet, receiving the same reply. The charity has also now written again. They have also written to the head of the UK Medical Research Council. Both letters are here – http://www.investinme.org/IIME-Newslet-1602-02.htm
    It is good to see more scientists demanding accountability from other researchers, especially when the research in question impacts the lives of patients and families to the extent of the PACE trial.
    Many of the signatories have either been involved with the international Invest in ME Conference & Biomedical Researchers Colloquium over the past 10 years, or have attended as delegates, and this is the source of several well-known quotes by some of the experienced researchers.
    We patients are fighting for our lives and I thank everyone supporting us.

  3. Carl Sutton says:

    The UK Govt modus operandi via the NICE & DWP has always been that GET & CBT are effective & the PACE trials were intended to prove that whatever the evidence. Only 641 patients were recruited but the numbers of those who benefited at all are pitiably small. Yet the UK continues to offer these ‘treatments’ as viable. Hardly anyone who has this condition and has tried the options will tell you they do not work and I suspect that those for whom some lifting of the symptoms have occurred may find that the change is only temporary as things vary over time. Just as one has good hours and less good ones: so is the case with days weeks months and years taken as an average.

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