Short Update on the Progress of the PACE Trial Judgment (QMUL v IC and Matthees)
An inquiry was made yesterday to the First-Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) concerning the progress of the long-awaited judgment in this case. The following response was received almost immediately:
The judge is still drafting the decision and I do not have any indication as to when the final decision will be promulgated.
So – still no news as of 15 July 2016.
Background note for new readers
In March 2014, Mr Matthees sought some of the data from the controversial PACE trial, using the process set out in the English Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This information is held by relevant public authority, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). QMUL refused to disclose the data.
In due course, Mr Matthees complained to the Information Commissioner (IC) who, in October 2015, ordered that the information be disclosed. QMUL appealed against the IC’s decision; that appeal was heard by the First-Tier Tribunal on 20-22 April 2016 in central London. QMUL and the IC were legally represented and QMUL called witnesses to give evidence. Mr Matthees had been joined as a party to the proceedings. He was not legally represented and did not attend the hearing but made written submissions. Judgment is awaited.
[Note: the PACE trial, which was published in 2011, relates to certain treatments for the condition known as “chronic fatigue syndrome” (CFS). CFS is often conflated (confusingly) with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and referred to as CFS/ME or ME/CFS, to the detriment of genuine ME patients. This is the situation in many countries and has been for decades; it is the cause of significant confusion and distress to many patients worldwide.
The results of the PACE trial appear to promote psychosocial treatments which many patients find either ineffective or actively harmful. As a result, some patients have been using FOIA to try to obtain the trial data in order to understand how these results were achieved. However, most requests have been denied and, five years on, most of the data is still unavailable.]
More detailed information on the history and progress of this case can be found in earlier posts in the PACE Trial category of this blog – see lower right-hand sidebar.