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 firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the affiliation you would like displayed.