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By Capricious Lestrange in Disability Depot.
Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has released the PACE data to a patient who requested it under the Freedom of Information Act, as ordered by a recent tribunal, on the last possible day to lodge an appeal against the court’s order.
The move follows the publication three days previously of an open letter from a group of scientists including Dr. Ron Davis, Vince Racaniello and Jonathan Edwards, urging QMUL’s principal, Professor Simon Gaskell, not to appeal the tribunal’s decision.
The data was requested in March 2014 by Alem Matthees, in order to allow the calculation of the trial’s main outcomes and recovery rates according to the methods specified in the trial’s original protocol. The original analysis methods were abandoned once the trial was underway and replaced by others, including an analysis in which patients could become more disabled and yet be classed as having “recovered”.
Tom Kindlon, a patient whose criticism of PACE’s analyses has been published in medical journals, said, “This is a great day for patients. We’ve waited years for this. Finally, it’s going to be possible for independent parties to scrutinise the data and, in particular, find out what the results would have been without all the unjustified changes to the study protocol. Looking at how the objective data relate to the subjective outcomes will also be very interesting.”
“This was a publicly funded trial and cost £5 million in taxpayers’ money — the data should never have been kept secret.”
He added, “This was a publicly funded trial and cost £5 million in taxpayers’ money — the data should never have been kept secret. It is very disappointing that both the PACE Trial investigators and QMUL fought the case so hard, forcing Alem Matthees to have to put in so much work when he is not well himself, and dismissing some other requests for basic information.”
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