Cochrane doesn’t take editorial misconduct seriously

Published on August 31, 2023

All reputable medical journals have an impartial mechanism for dealing with allegations of editorial misconduct. In the past, this was also the case for the Cochrane Library. Today, Cochrane’s attitude can best be described as, “We don’t give a damn. We are beyond reproach.” Cochrane’s ongoing crisis caused by multiple missteps – most recently the scandal its Editor-in-Chief caused when she apologized for Cochrane’s review that showed a lack of effect of face masks although there was nothing to apologize for – was recently described as a tailspin. Read my account of Cochrane’s editorial misconduct in relation to our review of safe withdrawal of depression drugs here.


The Norwegian Psychiatric Association propagates dangerous misinformation about their specialty

Published on August 30, 2023

By Peter C Gøtzsche

My article on Mad in America, “The media’s false narrative about depression pills, suicides, and saving lives” from 23 August was mentioned on Mad in Norway (in Norwegian) two days ago:

“Terrible falsehoods from the Norwegian Psychiatric Association. Untrue statements about drugs. Psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry are accused of spreading false positive information about drug effects through financially lubricated information channels. The ‘Pill shame’ editorial from the board of the Norwegian Psychiatric Association contains so many untruths that they seem to suffer from collective delusions. That’s what doctor and scientist Peter Gøtzsche says in an article on Mad in America. He picks apart their claims and believes the solution is to let the psychiatrists get a taste of their own medicines … he uses the pill-shaming plot by the Association as an example of how the media are ‘programmed’ to give free rein to the prevailing psychiatric regime.”

I have today written to the board of the Norwegian Psychiatric Association:

“I find it very sad that a psychiatric association can write so much that is so misleading or wrong in a newspaper. I have described the problems in the attached article. I have no hopes that you will come to respect the most reliable research we have in psychiatry; your guild interests are far too great for that. But now I have at least tried. Mad in America has about 2 million monthly users, so your misconceptions about your profession are now out, all over the world. For the sake of the patients and their relatives, I hope you will retract your erroneous statements. They are very harmful to public health.”

In my article, I give five main reasons why psychiatric drugs are portrayed in the media in a light that is far too positive and also describe a horribly misleading BBC report from 9 August. In the commentary section below my article, I have added a sixth main reason:

Inspired by a close collaborator who has a huge experience of working with journalists, I want to say this, based on his email to me:

There are also substantial pressures from users of depression pills. They can have a decisive role when the editors remove critical comments on the use of these pills. Some of them are activists, either individually (including celebrities, journalists/hosts from TV programs) or in organisations. Often, they have rather blunt demands to have their individual experiences of being helped mentioned. And often with a readiness to be offended, e.g. if you “don’t recognize their illness” or if you question the use of psychotropic drugs. During research and casting for broadcasts about depression in particular, many journalists will feel the need to accommodate these individual, anecdotal and unscientific stories, often with contributions from various psychiatrists who support them. The result is horrifying. The science is edited out in favour of personal accounts. If I were to list the worst challenges in telling the truth about the drugs and the harms they cause, these activist patients would be at the very top. Followed by editors’ fear of offending consensus. Oddly enough, people also buy the argument that any bad publicity about psychotropic drugs can cost human lives. They don’t seem to know that psychiatric drugs do not save lives; they kill very many people.

Call for retraction of three fraudulent trial reports of antidepressants in children and adolescents

Published on August 3, 2023

By Peter C Gøtzsche

Together with 10 people who each lost a child or spouse to suicide as a direct consequence of being prescribed an antidepressant drug for a non-psychiatric condition, I have today written to the editors of two journals and called for retraction of three fraudulent trial reports of antidepressants in children and adolescents.

The trial reports seriously underreported suicide attempts, other suicidal events, and precursors to suicide and violence on active drug, and exaggerated the benefits of the drugs substantially.

If the editors don’t act, they will not only sully the reputation of their journals. They will also be seen as being complicit in future suicides caused by antidepressants as a direct harm of these drugs. Read our open letter to the editors here.

YouTube censored correct information about the high-titre measles vaccine

Published on July 19, 2023

By Peter C Gøtzsche

Institute for Scientific Freedom

On 6 July 2022, Professor Christine Stabel Benn uploaded a videocast with Professor Peter Aaby on YouTube about his research in Africa. It included his discovery of the beneficial non-specific effects of measles vaccines. The videocast is predominantly about these effects of the normal measles vaccine. But Aaby also mentions his interactions with the WHO related to the introduction of a high-titre measles vaccine, which he and his colleagues’ studies showed led to increased mortality in girls.

Initially, the WHO did not react, but when American colleagues confirmed Aaby’s findings in Haiti, the high-titre vaccine was withdrawn. It has been estimated that this vaccine would have cost around 0.5 million lives per year in Africa alone. It is an important lesson that a highly beneficial vaccine that has saved millions of lives can kill millions if used in too high doses. But Benn discovered on 23 July 2022 that YouTube had removed the videocast due to “inappropriate content.” Read my article here.

Psychiatry killed Tuva Andersson, whose problem was anxiety

Published on July 9, 2023

I wrote about this gruesome story on 30 June on this website. I have now published a shorter version on the Mad in America website, which I have also uploaded here. And I have tweeted about it:

Psychiatry killed Tuva Andersson, whose problem was anxiety. Her mother wanted me to tell the gruesome story hoping it might prevent other tragic and unnecessary deaths. Thousands of patients are killed every day with psych drugs that don’t work for them

Please go to my Twitter account, @PGtzsche1, and retweet, and please help propagate this story via other media. It is emblematic for a psychiatry that does far more harm and good. Forced treatment kills and must be made illegal in all countries. Psychiatry itself should be abolished and rebuilt, completely from the ground.

So-called biological psychiatry has been a disaster, and we need a new mental health care that is not obsessed with neurotransmitters and unscientific diagnoses, which lead to treatment with harmful drugs, but focuses on psychotherapy, other psychosocial interventions, empathy, understanding, respect, lack of force, and fully informed consent in all situations.

Psychiatry killed Tuva Andersson whose problem was anxiety

Published on June 30, 2023

By Peter C Gøtzsche
Institute for Scientific Freedom


Tuva Andersson was 37 years old when she committed suicide. Her mother wanted me to tell her story hoping it might prevent other tragic and unnecessary deaths.

Tuva suffered from anxiety, which should have been handled by psychosocial interventions. Instead, she was exposed to professional incompetence, gross medical negligence, malpractice, stigmatisation by a variety of fluffy, ever changing, and unspecific diagnoses, polypharmacy with psychiatric drugs, and forced treatment with a depot neuroleptic.

During the last year of Tuva’s life, her psychiatrists took away her hope of ever leaving psychiatry and becoming better, which is the worst thing a psychiatrist can do to a patient, as it increases the suicide risk dramatically.

During this time, Tuva was at very high risk of suicide; she had nothing to live for; and yet the psychiatrists’ only concern was to continue to write prescriptions for drugs that clearly harmed her. When Tuva had difficulty concentrating and focussing or had other issues, the psychiatrists consistently ascribed this to her psychiatric “illness,” not to their drugs, in contrast to some alert nurses.

Tuva so much wanted to come off her drugs but the psychiatrists ignored her. And she did not get the psychotherapy she requested repeatedly, which would likely have saved her life.

Read my 15-page summary of this gruesome story here.

Review of invitations to publish in predatory scientific journals

Published on June 27, 2023

By Peter C Gøtzsche

The business model of predatory scientific journals constitutes consumer fraud as it deceives many people who buy into something they do not get. I receive about 20 invitations per week to publish in predatory journals and two to present research at predatory conferences. I have published an article about these “invitations,” which even included one to submit my preprint manuscript about invitations to publish in predatory journals.

Professor of psychology John Read about what is wrong with psychiatry

Published on June 26, 2023

John Read tells Denise Winn about his work showing adverse life events explain most types of emotional distress, and how the medical model ignores it in the article “Lack of insight: the story of psychiatry.” This article, and the editorial, “Where’s the madness?” are very insightful.

The logic is straightforward, but in psychiatry, things are different to the rest of healthcare. As John says: “In any other branch of medicine, if you had a drug that increased the thing it was supposed to be decreasing, it would be off the market.”

Read about the story of psychiatry.

The government has a moral duty to help those harmed by prescribed dependence forming drugs

Published on June 21, 2023

26% of adults in England was prescribed a dependence forming drug in the previous year, for example, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, Z-drugs, GABA-ergic and opioids. The government has a moral duty to help those harmed. See our open letter in BMJ:

Our medicines are the third leading cause of death

Published on June 21, 2023

I explain briefly in this article why our medicines are the third leading cause of death; why we generally cannot trust our drug regulators and other authorities; that vaccines have saved millions of lives and still do, but that those against influenza and COVID-19 are not particularly effective; and what you can do yourself to reduce the risk that you become one of the millions who died because they took a drug they didn’t really need. Read the article here.