Testing NEWS

Systematic violations of the patients’ rights when forced to receive neuroleptics

Published on April 25, 2023

By Peter C Gøtzsche

Lawyer James B Gottstein from Anchorage, author of The Zyprexa papers, has written the most damning report I have ever seen about the systematic violations of the patients’ rights when they are forced to receive neuroleptics against their will. What goes on at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage is truly horrifying. One month ago, a US psychiatrist and I published a report documenting this:

Tasch G, Gøtzsche PC. Systematic violations of patients’ rights and safety: forced medication of a cohort of 30 patients in Alaska. Psychosis 2023; March 28 (online first).

I was one of the experts who contributed to Gottstein’s report. The others were: Faith Myers, author of the 2020 book “Going crazy in Alaska: a history of Alaska’s treatment of psychiatric patients;” Susan Musante, the founding director of Soteria-Alaska, a model proven to be a highly effective alternative to hospitalization for newly diagnosed people; David Cohen, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs; and David Healy, MD, psychiatrist, professor at the McMaster University in Canada, and a leading expert on psychopharmacology.

Here is the summary of Gottstein’s report: …


Personal accounts of patients driven into suicide by a depression pill

Published on April 5, 2023

In 2015, when I launched my first psychiatry book, “Deadly psychiatry and organised denial,” I arranged an international symposium in Copenhagen, “Psychiatric drugs do more harm than good.” The lectures are on YouTube. They are still highly relevant and I particularly recommend people to listen to the personal accounts of patients driven into suicide by a depression pill. The audience listened in stunned silence. When the five women who spoke found out that I was going to have this symposium, they all offered to come and talk, paying for their own expenses, and I found a slot for them in the programme. They wanted to do everything they could to help others avoid losing a child or a spouse because of a depression drug that was prescribed to them which they should never have had. The people who killed themselves because of the horrible harms of these drugs did not suffer from anything that justified the prescription: school anxiety, work-related anxiety, exam-related anxiety, break-up with a girl-friend, and trouble sleeping. These meaningless deaths illustrate how absurdly harmful psychiatry is.

The other lectures were: Robert Whitaker – Our psychiatric drug epidemic, a historical overview; Peter C. Gøtzsche – Why few patients benefit from the drugs and many are harmed by them; Robert Whitaker – ADHD, changing the child instead of the environment; Peter C. Gøtzsche – A psychiatry without forced admission and treatment is a must; Peter Breggin – How to practice psychiatry without drugs; and Peter Breggin – Chronic brain impairment and psychiatric drug withdrawal. See the lectures here.

Complaint about Cochrane editors committing editorial misconduct

Published on March 29, 2023

Open letter to Karla Soares-Weiser
Editor-in-Chief, the Cochrane Collaboration

Complaint about Cochrane editors committing editorial misconduct

Dear Karla,

I hereby complain to you about what I consider editorial misconduct in the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders group. Briefly, while this group imposed ever increasing demands to our protocol about safe withdrawal of depression drugs in patients who wished to come off them, the group at the same time negotiated with another author group on the same issue secretly. The group rejected our protocol two years and four months after we first submitted it while it accepted the other authors’ protocol. They subsequently published a Cochrane review, which is very embarrassing for Cochrane as it is full of marketing messages that are irrelevant for the review and of many misleading statements, as I shall explain. Read full letter.

Systematic violations of patients’ rights and safety: forced medication of a cohort of 30 patients in Alaska

Published on March 28, 2023

Psychiatric drug withdrawal: first course in Denmark

Published on March 27, 2023

We wrote this article on 16 October 2017 but did not upload it. As I think it is still relevant, I have done that now.

Psychiatric drug withdrawal: first course in Denmark

16 October 2017


Professor Peter C. Gøtzsche, the Nordic Cochrane Centre
Pharmacist Birgit Toft
Pharmacist Bertel Rüdinger
Child and adolescent psychiatrist Lisbeth Kortegaard
Psychologist Olga Runciman
Psychologist Anders Sørensen

 We held the first course ever on withdrawal of psychiatric drugs on 12 June 2017 in Copenhagen. The course was open to patients, relatives, psychologists, doctors and other social and healthcare workers, and 77 people participated.

Our practical guides, an abstinence chart, a list of doctors and others willing to help with tapering, and the lectures (with English subtitles) are available from the front page of www.deadlymedicines.dk. …

Sweden did exceptionally well during the COVID-19 pandemic with its open society

Published on March 24, 2023

By Peter C Gøtzsche

No wonder the news media are totally silent about the data that show that Sweden’s open society policy was what the rest of the world should have done, too. Numerous studies have shown Sweden’s excess death rate to be among the lowest in Europe during the pandemic and in several analyses, Sweden was at the bottom.

This is remarkable considering that Sweden has admitted that it did too little to protect people living in nursing homes. …

Serious harms of the COVID-19 vaccines: a systematic review

Published on March 22, 2023

By Peter C. Gøtzsche and Maryanne Demasi

The full review here.


BACKGROUND: Serious and severe harms of the COVID-19 vaccines have been downplayed or deliberately excluded by the study sponsors in high impact medical journals.

METHODS: Systematic review of papers with data on serious adverse events (SAEs) associated with a COVID-19 vaccine.

RESULTS: We included 18 systematic reviews, 14 randomised trials, and 34 other studies with a control group. Most studies were of poor quality. A systemat-ic review of regulatory data on the two pivotal trials of the mRNA vaccines found significantly more SAEs of special interest with the vaccines compared to placebo, and the excess risk was considerably larger than the benefit, the risk of hospitalisation. The adenovirus vector vaccines increased the risk of venous thrombosis and thrombocytopenia, and the mRNA-based vaccines increased the risk of myocarditis, with a mortality of about 1-2 per 200 cases. We found evidence of serious neurological harms, including Bell’s palsy, Guillain-Barré syndrome, myasthenic disorder and stroke, which are likely due to an autoimmune reaction. Severe harms, i.e. those that prevent daily activities, were underreported in the randomised trials. These harms were very common in studies of booster doses after a full vaccination and in a study of vaccination of previously infected people.

CONCLUSIONS: Further randomised trials are needed. Authorities have recommended population-wide COVID-19 vaccination and booster doses. They do not consider that the balance between benefits and harms becomes negative in low-risk groups such as children and people who have already recovered from COVID-19 infection.

Peter C Gøtzsche, interviews and lectures on YouTube

Published on March 20, 2023

Arranged by number of views as of 20 March 2023. The top one has been seen by half a million people; the list stops at 5,000 views.

2014 Big pharma is organised crime 7min, California

2014 La industria farmacéutica es crimen organizado 7min, California, Spanish subtitles …

The terminology we use about medical drugs can be misleading

Published on March 18, 2023

“Efficacy and safety” and “benefits and risks” of drugs are misleading terms. Words matter. They influence people’s decisions about drugs, other treatments and other interventions. We should therefore abandon misleading terminology and speak about benefits and harms instead. See my BMJ article here

How shall we help patients withdraw from depression drugs?

Published on March 14, 2023

Our systematic review of 13 randomised trials (2085 patients) showed that the length of taper was highly predictive for the risk of relapse (P = 0.00001). All the studies we reviewed confounded withdrawal symptoms with relapse; did not use hyperbolic tapering; withdrew the depression drug too fast in a linear fashion; and stopped it entirely when receptor occupancy was still high. The true proportion of patients on depression drugs who can stop safely without relapse is likely considerably higher than the 50% we found. Offering cognitive behaviour therapy allowed significantly more patients to become drug free without relapse compared with tapering in standard clinical care (P = 0.002). Our full review is here and it is also up at MedRiv.