High Court supports ME treatments that are ineffective or harmful

March 13, 2009

The legal challenge to the NICE Guideline on ME/CFS was lost in the High Court today – when it was dismissed by Mr Justice Simon. More details as soon as we can get them. Please find The ME Association's immediate response below.

People with ME/CFS now face a situation where doctors will continue to recommend two forms of treatments that many people with the illness find ineffective or even harmful.

The ME Association is disappointed that the High Court Judicial Review of the NICE Guideline on ME/CFS found in favour of NICE.

Recommendations that two controversial treatments – cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and graded exercise treatment (GET) – be offered as front-line treatments for those with mild to moderate forms of the illness remain unchanged.

This is despite the findings of the largest-ever survey of ME patient opinion carried out by The ME Association last year which found that only 26% were helped by CBT – while 56% reported that GET made them feel worse.

The ME Association believe that the two people with ME who took up the legal challenge were fully justified in seeking a court hearing into the processes used by NICE to draw up the Guideline.

Despite the Judicial Review failing to result in withdrawal of these potentially dangerous guidelines, The ME Association maintains that the evidence relating to both clinical and cost effectiveness does not justify the emphasis and optimism being given to these two treatments. NICE's recommendations cannot be justified by the evidence.

We shall continue to ask NICE to review the contents of what we maintain is a seriously flawed and unhelpful Guideline.


Note to Editors:

For further comment from The ME Association, please contact our Publicity Manager, Tony Britton

Tel: 01406 370293, Mob: 07880 502927


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