Trial By Error: The NICE “Topic Expert”

David Tuller



By David Tuller, DrPH.


My first recent freedom of information request to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) was for information about the experts consulted in the current process of reviewing CG53, the 2007 guidance for the illness the agency calls chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis. In its response, the agency explained that seven topic experts had been consulted in the process of preparing the surveillance document, which recommended leaving the guidance as is.

(I have previously written about the NICE review process on CG53 herehere and here. My e-mail exchange with Sir Andrew Dillon, chief executive of the NICE guidance executive, is described here.)

NICE, of course, declined to reveal the names of the seven topic experts, although it reported that four of them were members of the original 2007 guidance development committee. NICE also told me, as it told the ME Association, that the panel included three psychiatrists, two neurologists, a pediatrician, and a patient. NICE did not explain why the panel included more psychiatrists than other specialists, but the selection of topic experts certainly provides insight into NICE’s perspective on the illness.


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Link to NICE story

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