From Professor Malcolm Hooper
How to make a disease disappear
PRESS RELEASE: MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
12th February 2010
A formal complaint has been lodged by Professor Malcolm Hooper with the Rt.
Hon The Lord Drayson, Minister of State with responsibility for the Medical
Research Council (Science and Innovation) about the "PACE" Clinical Trial of
behavioural modification interventions for people with Myalgic
Encephalomyelitis (ME) / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
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.
Since 1993, the giant US permanent health insurance company UNUMProvident
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 UNUMProvident. 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 cases of ME/CFS, the
first duty of the doctor is to avoid legitimisation of symptoms; in 1994, ME
was described by Professor Simon Wessely as merely "a belief"; in 1996
recommendations were made that no investigations should be performed to
confirm the diagnosis and in 1999 patients with ME/CFS were referred to as
"the undeserving sick".
The complaint is supported by a 442 page Report which addresses areas of
major concern about the PACE Trial.
These include apparent coercion and exploitation of patients, flawed
methodology, apparent lack of scientific rigour, apparent failure to adhere
to the Declaration of Helsinki, the unusual personal financial interest of
the Chief Investigator, the vested financial interests of the Principal
Investigators and others involved with the trial and the underlying
non-clinical purpose of the trial.
The psychiatrists' unproven beliefs and assumptions are presented as fact
and trial therapists have been trained to provide participants with
misinformation; therapists have also been trained to advise participants to
ignore symptoms, a situation that may in some cases result in death.
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.
People with ME/CFS do not seek any special consideration; they simply wish
to be treated equally to those who suffer from other classified neurological
disorders. As shown in the Report that accompanies the complaint, the MRC
PACE Trial clearly demonstrates that people with ME/CFS are not treated
equally to those with other chronic neurological disorders.
CONTACT: Professor Malcolm Hooper 0191 – 528 - 5536
The Report can be accessed at
File Size 6Mb
Adobe Acrobat format
See alternative download sites below
Letter of complaint to the Rt Hon The Lord Drayson
Professor Malcolm Hooper Ph.D.,B.Pharm.,C.Chem.,MRIC
11th February 2010
The Rt Hon The Lord Drayson
Minister of State
(Science and Innovation)
1, Victoria Street
re: Complaint about the Medical Research Council
It is with deep concern that I lodge this formal complaint about the Medical
Research Council with you in your capacity as Minister with responsibility
for the MRC.
You will doubtless be aware of the serious problems at the MRC that were
documented in the 2003 Report of the House of Commons Select Committee on
Science and Technology (HC 132) in which MPs issued a damning judgment on
the MRC, lambasting it for wasting funds and for introducing misguided
strategies for its research. MPs found evidence of poor planning and of
focusing on "politically-driven" projects that have diverted money away from
top-quality proposals. The unprecedented attack was the result of a
detailed probe into the workings of the MRC.
Sadly, very serious problems continue to exist at the MRC, with disastrous
results for patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue
The attached 442 page Report addresses the background to the MRC "PACE"
Trial on "CFS/ME", the biomedical evidence that disproves the assumptions of
the MRC trial Principal Investigators, the many extremely disturbing issues
surrounding the PACE Trial, and illustrations from the Manuals used in the
The unproven beliefs and assumptions of the MRC Investigators are presented
as fact; trial therapists have been trained to provide participants with
misinformation, and therapists have also been trained to advise participants
to ignore symptoms arising from the interventions, a situation that may in
some cases result in death.
Patients with ME/CFS do not seek any special consideration; they simply wish
to be treated equally to those with other classified neurological
disorders. As shown in the commissioned Report that accompanies this
complaint (a bound copy of which will follow), the MRC Trial clearly
demonstrates that people with ME/CFS are not treated equally to those with
other chronic neurological disorders.
Given the long-standing recognition that at least one of the interventions
used in the trial is contra-indicated for people with ME/CFS, an
intervention that is already known to have adverse effects on 50% of those
who have already undertaken it, there is international concern about the MRC
I urge you to read the attached Report and to respond to it with due
attention and alacrity. You may wish to know that the Report is already on
international academic websites.
How to make a disease disappear
Alternative download sites:
(all files are in Adobe .pdf format)
File size - Approx. 6Mb