Not so NICE decision on ME treatment

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Sir,

Anyone whose family has been affected by ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), or chronic fatigue syndrome, will not be surprised to read in the Lancet and other national media that current treatments have been found to be, at best, only moderately effective.

But they will be stunned to discover that graded exercise – the therapy which patients tell us has a greater risk of causing them harm – has been rated more effective than pacing... the therapy which patients say carries least risk and does most good!

Before the National Institute for Health and Clinic Excellence (NICE) jumps to change its guidelines on the diagnosis and management of ME, based on this study, it must bear in mind that the specialist expertise and safeguards which apply in a controlled research environment do not apply across the NHS as a whole.

The Medical Research Council must spend the £1.5m it has earmarked for research on ME on finding the cause of this horribly disabling illness, so science can find a cure.

Sir Peter Spencer,

Chief Executive,

Action for ME