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College was right not to disclose deliberations about chronic fatigue treatment trial, tribunal rules

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5355 (Published 30 August 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5355
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The UK Information Rights Tribunal has ruled that the University of London’s Queen Mary college was right not to disclose the discussions of research committees on a clinical trial of treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome (myalgic encephalomyelitis), in an important ruling concerning the importance of academic freedom.

The tribunal upheld the information commissioner’s decision that Queen Mary was entitled to withhold the minutes of meetings of the steering committee and management groups for the PACE (Pacing, Graded Activity, and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy—a Randomised Evaluation) trial, which looked at the effectiveness of treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome.

The £5m (€6m; $8m) trial, funded mainly by the Medical Research Council and led by Queen Mary, followed 641 patients, looking at the safety and efficacy of the various treatments available in the United …

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