Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gibson Parliamentarians’ Inquiry: PACE trial outcome ruled by blatant conflicts of interest

Professor Hooper’s Initial Response to the MRC PACE Trial Press Release hosted by The Lancet, 17th February 2011:

Professor White and his co-Principal Investigators all have financial links with the health insurance industry, a matter of grave concern to the former Chairman of a House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee and former Dean of Biology (Dr Ian Gibson MP); a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee (Ann Cryer MP); a Minister of State for the Environment (The Rt Hon Michael Meacher MP); a former President of the Royal College of Physicians (Lord Turnberg); the Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords (the Countess of Mar), and a former Health Minister and Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Baroness Julia Cumberledge) (Gibson Inquiry Parliamentarians’ Report, 2006).

In an obvious reference to Professor White, this Report stated: “There have been numerous cases where advisors to the DWP have also had consultancy roles in medical insurance companies, particularly the company UNUMProvident.

Given the vested interest that private medical insurance companies have in ensuring CFS/ME remains classified as a psychosocial illness, there is a blatant conflict of interest here. The Group finds this to be an area for serious concern…”.

In Professor White’s case, this blatant conflict of interest remains unresolved, as he is Chief Medical Officer for the insurance giant Swiss Re, and another of the PACE Trial Principal Investigators, Professor Michael Sharpe, is associated with UNUMProvident. Read more>>

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