Cochrane advises against preprints, is highly ineffective, and protects its “brand”

Published on June 9, 2024

Last year, we updated our Cochrane review on mammography screening with more mortality data and sent it to Cochrane in August 2023. The many comments we received on the very minor, fourth update of a well-known and highly cited Cochrane review that has been around for 23 years1 illustrates that Cochrane has become a highly bureaucratic and ineffective organisation, which is one of the main reasons that all the UK based Cochrane groups lost their governmental funding at the end of March 2023.2

Although we had not included any new trials, it took five months before we got a reply. In January 2024, we received a document to which 11 people had provided comments, 8 from Cochrane and 3 peer reviewers. There were 91 separate, numbered comments over 21 pages (7,290 words, or the size of two normal scientific articles). …

Screening for breast cancer with mammography: updated review

Published on June 7, 2024

I first published this Cochrane review in 2001 and lastly updated it in 2013. Because many more deaths have now been published, I updated the review again in January 2023, and a month later, my co-author had independently assessed the new data and agreed with what I had found.

The updated mortality data show even more clearly than before that mammography screening does not save lives, and I therefore published them in May 2023 on my website in the public interest.

Breast cancer mortality is an unreliable outcome that is biased in favour of screening, mainly because of differential misclassification of cause of death. We therefore need to look at total cancer mortality and total mortality instead. The trials with adequate randomisation did not find an effect of screening on total cancer mortality, including breast cancer (risk ratio 1.00, 95% confidence interval 0.96 to 1.04). All-cause mortality was not significantly reduced either (risk ratio 1.01, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.04).

As reported earlier, total numbers of lumpectomies and mastectomies were significantly larger in the screened groups (risk ratio 1.31, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.42), as were number of mastectomies (risk ratio 1.20, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.32).

Screening has been sold to the public with the claims that it saves lives and saves breasts. It does neither and increases mastectomies. These results – and indeed, many others – can only lead to one logical conclusion: Mammography screening is harmful and should be abandoned, as I have explained earlier.

Cochrane has become a highly bureaucratic and ineffective organisation. We therefore don’t know when our updated review will be published in the Cochrane Library. When I first published it, in 2001, the Cochrane Breast Cancer Group would not allow us to publish the harms of screening even though they were included in the protocol for the review, the group had approved and published. Back then, we needed to publish our review in The Lancet to ensure the harms became known. It took five years, with complaints to the Cochrane Steering Group, before the harms data also became included in the Cochrane review.

We responded to the peer review comments on our updated review in March 2024, but when we asked in June, the Cochrane editors were unable to tell us when we would hear back from them, and holidays are approaching.

For this reason, we have decided to upload our submitted review on a preprint server. We believe this is helpful for women contemplating if they should attend mammography screening and for authorities who are currently reconsidering their guidelines.

Cartoons after Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts

Published on June 6, 2024

No comment. The cartoons speak for themselves. In November, we shall know if the Americans will vote for a president who is a habitual liar and fraudster and who can pardon himself for his crimes if he gets elected. If he becomes president again, I see no hope for America. See the cartoons

Medicating Normal: a documentary film about how psychiatric drugs destroy people

Published on June 5, 2024

I am convinced that Medicating Normal is the best documentary ever made about how psychiatric drugs destroy people. Everyone with an interest in psychiatry must see this brilliant and very moving film. More than once, actually. The film can be seen for free.

For over three years, the filmmakers documented the journey of five individuals whose lives were profoundly impacted by the medication they were taking and they interviewed many knowledgeable experts about the central issues.

The homepage for the film is very informative, with resources related to psychiatric drugs and how to withdraw safely from them.

Our review of safe withdrawal of depression drugs

Published on June 3, 2024

Our review of safe withdrawal of depression drugs  shows that length of taper is highly predictive for the chance of success (P = 0.00001). All the randomised studies we reviewed were of poor quality. They confounded withdrawal symptoms with relapse; did not use hyperbolic tapering; withdrew the depression drug too fast; and stopped it entirely when receptor occupancy was still high. We are therefore convinced that the true proportion of patients on depression drugs who can stop safely without severe withdrawal symptoms is considerably higher than the 50% we found.

Our review had a very difficult birth, which I have described on the Mad in America website in the article “Cochrane reviews of psychiatric drugs are untrustworthy,” and our troubles included Cochrane editorial misconduct. …

Hvordan journalister vildleder befolkningen om psykiatri: Adskillige fejl i Jyllands-Posten om voksen ADHD

Published on May 3, 2024

En artikel i Jyllands-Posten fra den 14. april var meget frustrerende at læse, men typisk for den helt ukritiske måde, journalister skriver om psykiatri på. Den handlede om, at markant flere midaldrende og ældre får en ADHD-diagnose i dag end tidligere. Det forventer man, at læserne skal synes, er godt. Læs min artikel her.

The Daily Show 2014: organised crime in the drug industry

Published on April 16, 2024

Peter C Gøtzsche was invited to participate in The Daily Show on 16 September 2014 where he played the role of Deep Throat revealing secrets about organised crime in the drug industry in a garage in New York. The comedian was brilliant. See the satire.

Does USA have the worst healthcare system in the world?

Published on March 29, 2024

The late Bernard Lown (Harvard cardiologist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient) said that capitalist medicine results in two things: undertreatment for people without money or insurance, and overtreatment of those with money.

This is the situation in US healthcare, and I wrote about it in my 2013 book, “Deadly medicines and organised crime: How big pharma has corrupted health care.” I documented that US healthcare is one of the worst in the world. Here is what I wrote:

Keeping people healthy is not a priority in America’s profit-driven system, which thrives when people are ill.1 The propaganda has made nearly half of all Americans believe that the United States has the best healthcare in the world, albeit with a clear political divide (68% of the Republicans and 32% of Democrats).2

The beliefs that what is good for big pharma is also good for the people and that market forces will solve all problems are contradicted by the facts. The Unites States has the most ineffective healthcare system in the developed world.3,4

Read full article

Deadly psychiatry and dead ends

Published on March 25, 2024

Chapter 14 in my 2015 book, “Deadly psychiatry and organised denial,” contains the documentation that led to my conclusion that psychiatric drugs are the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer. What is particularly noteworthy is that I am not speaking about the third leading cause of death among psychiatric patients, but in our whole population.

Furthermore, I explain how I arrived at the conclusion that our current usage of psychotropic drugs could be reduced by 98%. That was in 2015. Today, I would set the percentage at 99%, as we should not use neuroleptics (antipsychotics) at all. This means that we only need to use 1% of the psychiatric drugs we use today, and if we did that, far fewer people would die and far more people would be able to live normal lives.

These issues are so fundamental and so important that I have decided to upload Chapter 14 on my website. Everyone should be able to read about them for free.

Psychiatry beyond repair

Published on December 19, 2023

Denise Winn has interviewed me for Human Givens Journal. It is one of the best interviews I have contributed to. Read it here.