Court ruling sought over ‘yuppie flu’
By Lucy Cockcroft and Laura Clout
Last Updated: 2:37am GMT 16/11/2007
A legal battle is being launched to force the Government’s health watchdog to stop defining so-called “yuppie flu” as a mental illness.
Campaigners claim official treatment advice on ME, which affects about a quarter of a million people in Britain, implies the condition is “all in the mind”, despite numerous studies which say otherwise.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) told doctors in August that they should prescribe psychological therapy and “graded” exercise for sufferers of ME, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome.
In what is believed to be the first legal action against Nice over health guidance, the One Click Group, a pressure group with 8,000 members, is taking the watchdog to the High Court in a bid to make it rewrite its policy.
Symptoms of ME include fatigue, pain and problems with sleep and concentration.
The medical profession is fiercely divided over the exact cause. Some maintain it is caused by a virus, while others put the symptoms down to mental health problems.