• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of, and finding treatments for, complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To become a member, simply click the Register button at the top right.

CDC and Oxford criterea FALSE POSITIVES for CFS


gerwyn morris

I found this in Intern Med. 1995 Jul 15;123(2):81-8.
Chronic fatigue and the chronic fatigue syndrome: prevalence in a Pacific Northwest health care system.
Buchwald D, Umali P, Umali J, Kith P, Pearlman T, Komaroff AL.
University of Washington, Seattle, USA. The following quotes struck me straight away
Persons with chronic fatigue were evaluated using a questionnaire that requested information about medical history and fatigue and related symptoms; validated measures of functional status and psychological distress; a physical examination; and standardized blood tests. --this is how Wesselly assessed patients in an "attempt" to exclude patients with other conditions

A structured psychiatric interview was done in persons who APPEARED to meet the original Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for the chronic fatigue syndrome.
Chronic fatigue was reported by 590 persons (19%). Of these, 388 (66%) had a medical or psychiatric condition that could account for the fatigue. Of the 74 persons (37%) with chronic fatigue who were enrolled in the study, only 3 met the CDC criteria for the chronic fatigue syndrome. The remaining 71 persons were designated as having chronic fatigue alone.

I hope this illustrates just how easy it is to have patients meeting the Oxford Criterea to also APPEAR to meet the CDC requirements!

By the way the meeting that established The Oxford Criterea was sponsored by a pharmaceutical company-The Welcome trust-I wonder who they gave the money to? Any detectives out there?

I wont post any threads for a while as I,m probably overdoing it--I,ve just chased up references I,v seen in studies Nnd i thought this would be useful info I wonder if Prof Mclure is aware of the WHO's attitude to Wessellys diagnostic methodology-Perhaps someone could tell her


Thanks loads for this; really interesting! I'm so hoping for a scientist to pipe up in the comments to the Imperial Study on PLosOne and say 'You didn't use the Canadian criteria because you say it isn't internationally validated. So why use the Oxford criteria, which has even less of a consensus about it, alongisde numerous peer-reviewed research papers attacking its validity?"

BUT in the interests of fairness, I must point out that the Wellcome Trust isn't a pharmaceutical company - it's a charity.


You guys are both right - I declare a technical friendly knockout!

Between 1936 and 1986, the Wellcome Trust was the sole owner of the Wellcome Foundation, Henry Wellcome's drug company.
In 1986, however, the Trust began floating shares in the Wellcome Foundation and used the proceeds to diversify its assets.
The endowment has experienced an average 14.5 per cent growth every year since this first floatation, allowing us to greatly increase the funds available to disburse in charitable grants.

In Depth history

Henry Wellcome's will creates the Wellcome Group (the Wellcome Trust, in its present form), which owned the Wellcome Foundation Limited, the drug company. However, considerable sums had to be paid in death duties - partially funded by the sale of some of Henry Wellcome's historical medical collection during 1937-39 - leaving only 3 million.

The Wellcome Foundation Limited begins developing breakthrough drugs, and grows sales from 10m p.a. (1952) to 50m p.a. (1960s). The introduction of blockbuster drugs such as Zyloric (1966) and Septrin (1967) caused sales to grow to about 400m p.a. by 1977.

Zovirax is developed in 1981, and becomes the world's first billion-dollar drug in 1985.

Henry Wellcome's will is amended through the court system to allow the flotation of 21 per cent of the drug company. The Foundation becomes a public limited company, Wellcome plc.

A secondary share offering raises a further 2.3bn and allows the Trust to diversify its assets further

The Foundation merges with Glaxo and, over the subsequent years to 2001, the Trust sells out of the combined Glaxo Wellcome shares to diversify its holding.

The Trust becomes the only UK domiciled non-public sector organisation with an AAA/Aaa credit rating and the first UK charity to issue a listed bond.

During the first 20 years of the Trust's existence, it disbursed a total of 1.17m of dividends. The Trustees allowed the majority of profits to be reinvested to build up the strength of the drug company during the next 20 or so years (up to 1972). Between 1965-1991, the Trust disbursed about 100m. Grant-giving then began to grow from 20m in 1985, to 100m in 1992, to 200m in 1994.

The Wellcome Trust endowment now stands at approximately 13bn.

Souce: Wellcome Trust

gerwyn morris

thanks-I used to work in pharma and the Wellcome rep was a friend of the family-


Senior Member
They also managed to have the meeting without a single expert in ME being present. At the time doctors such as Melvin Ramsay who had been involved with patients for years were still alive an dthere were many other doctors and scientists who had studied and treated thousands of patients.

People argue that you can't suddenly change the name of a disease so we are stuck with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, yet this group of mainly psychiatrists, without any input from experts in the disease, were allowed to change the name AND the definition.

Despite never having complained of fatigue in the previous seventeen years it was now assumed I had the symptoms they laid out :confused:

It is like a group of psychiatrists suddenly deciding that asthma should now be called sore knee syndrome and the main symptom is a pain in the knee. Everyone now stops getting inhalers and doctors are quite happy to do this. Patients complain and are told they are whiners and we no longer believe you are really ill.

To this day I have no idea why they were allowed to get away with it. Our experts were good people who did not understand politics and thought that truth, science and old fashioned compassionate medicine were enough but it turned out they weren't.



OK, fair enough.
I stand corrected :ashamed:

Problem is; I would have thought that drug companies have vested interests in CFIDS being discovered to be an organic disease; whereas insurance companies and governments have vested interests in it turning out to be somatoform.

I'll bet Wellcome were kicking themselves...


Senior Member
London area

Problem is; I would have thought that drug companies have vested interests in CFIDS being discovered to be an organic disease; whereas insurance companies and governments have vested interests in it turning out to be somatoform.


That is one I struggle to understand sometimes. I wonder if it benefits drug companies to find a cure though. They probably are happy to have a world wide population on mild symptom surpressents like ADs and sleeping tablets. That way they are customers for life.

Its also governments that licence any new medicine, if they dont want to pay for new drugs and implicate themselves in decades of previous neglegence by denying ME, they will let the drug companies know, I'm sure. 250,000 Brits queing up for new drugs, and payouts for years of negligence would surely put a governmental block on big pharma. Plus no Government research, no new drugs.This is where Wessely comes in as the Minister for Denial. NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT!!

This way the Government can cover up its incompetence the Insurance companies keep their costs down, dont have to pay loss of earnings and mortgage policies up and everyones a winner!!