Why We’re Establishing an Institute for Scientific Freedom

Peter Gøtzsche, MD
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Scientific freedom, honesty and integrity are constantly under attack, particularly in healthcare, which is dominated by the drug industry and other economic interests. As I have documented in my books and elsewhere, the result of this is that our prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer, and that the use of psychiatric drugs does more harm than good. Science journalist Robert Whitaker has shown that, in all countries where this relationship has been examined, the amount of people on disability pension because of mental health problems has increased at the same time as the use of psychiatric drugs has increased. Psychiatrist Peter Breggin has shown that likely all psychiatric drugs can cause long-lasting brain impairment, which may explain why the use of these drugs makes it difficult for people to live a normal life.

Problems with the trustworthiness of research are not limited to healthcare. They abound everywhere, and many times people who arrive at unwelcome results are being asked to change their results for political reasons, or to not publish them lest their funding disappear.

The Cochrane Collaboration publishes systematic reviews of the benefits and harms of healthcare interventions. I co-founded this idealistic grassroots organisation 25 years ago. However, upon reaching a certain size, idealistic organisations often start to operate in a manner diametrically opposed to their original charter. I believe this also happened for Cochrane. I was elected to the Cochrane Governing Board in January 2017 with the most votes of all 11 candidates, although I was the only one who criticised the Cochrane leadership in my election statement. This was a sign of growing dissatisfaction with the leadership among its members.

In retaliation for my attempt at changing Cochrane back to its roots, I was expelled on 13 September 2018 from the Cochrane Collaboration after a show trial conducted by the Cochrane Governing Board, which in all likelihood was illegitimate.

My expulsion was the result of a power struggle between two factions. One, led by Cochrane’s CEO Mark Wilson, opposes open scientific debates on the quality and reliability of Cochrane reviews and emphasises “brand” and “business” rather than getting the science right. The other, led by me, wanted to bring Cochrane back to its core values: free scientific debate; no financial conflicts of interests for authors of Cochrane reviews in relation to the companies whose products they evaluate; and openness, transparency, democracy and cooperation. The affair has been extensively covered in leading journals, including Science, Nature, BMJ and Lancet. (For more details and a timeline of events, see my website Deadly Medicines.)

Despite great support, I lost the power struggle. If that’s why the Danish health service wants to fire me, then Denmark supports Cochrane’s new line of “one voice,” lack of scientific debates and relationships that are too close to the pharmaceutical industry, which basically will make Cochrane superfluous.

Although Cochrane’s own hired law firm exonerated me of all charges the board had raised against me, I was nonetheless expelled, and my employer, the Rigshospitalet, added insult to injury by announcing that I will be fired, for no reason other than this is what Mark Wilson wants. We know this because my lawyer got access to email correspondence through the Freedom of Information Act.

Unfortunately, the hospital wants to please him. It is outrageous that a person in London interferes in this way with internal affairs in another country and the employment of a person who is salaried by Danish governmental money.

The 31 Centre Directors in Spain and Latin America demanded an independent investigation of the Cochrane “process” against me, which the board rejected because such an investigation would lead to its demise. I have complained to the Charity Commission in England about serious mismanagement committed by Cochrane’s CEO Mark Wilson and the Governing Board who have violated all the key rules for charities and for Cochrane.

More than 9000 signatures have been sent to the Danish Minister of Health with a request to overturn my sacking, with such prominent names as Cochrane co-founder Sir Iain Chalmers, BMJ’s editor-in-chief Fiona Godlee, Member of the European Parliament Margrete Auken who has done a lot to make data available to researchers, psychiatrist David Healy, highly respected as one of the world’s leading experts on psychiatric drugs, and the world’s most cited health researcher, John Ioannidis from Stanford University.

I believe that my impending dismissal is about silencing an important voice in the debate, just like my expulsion from the Cochrane Collaboration was. Cochrane’s leadership was very annoyed that I had published a well-founded criticism of the Cochrane review of the HPV vaccines, and I was told that it is bad behavior to criticize colleagues’ science when you are a Governing Board member or a Cochrane Director. Obviously, this is scientific censorship.

By reviewing the randomized trials we received from the European Medicines Agency, we have shown that the HPV vaccines may cause serious neurological harms, which the authorities otherwise claim do not exist. We are publishing this, also in a PhD thesis, and we presented the results at our 25th anniversary symposium at Rigshospitalet on October 12th.

Firing me sends the unfortunate signal that if your research results are inconvenient and cause public turmoil, or threaten the pharmaceutical industry’s earnings, which we are very concerned about in Denmark, you will be sacked. Strikingly, many of the documents my lawyer has obtained from the Ministry through the Freedom of Information Act are articles where healthcare stakeholders — e.g. psychiatrists, doctors with conflicts of interest, the Health and Medicines Agencies, and editors of journals financed by the pharmaceutical industry — try to depict me as untrustworthy in order to promote their own interests.

I still hope reason will prevail and that I shall not get sacked, but I doubt it. Administrators prefer to save face rather than admit they were wrong.

It is on this background that Peter Breggin suggested to me in November that we should establish an Institute for Scientific Freedom under my leadership in Copenhagen. We will open this new institute on 9 March 2019 in connection with an international scientific meeting. The meeting announcement can be found here. There will be excellent speakers from the USA, Europe and Australia, including Breggin and Whitaker. We have not decided yet how to organise ourselves, as this will depend on whether I get sacked or not, but we have great expectations.

45 COMMENTS

  1. This sad episode in the history of science at least has the merit of teaching us the true nature of these “dear colleagues” associated with the pharmaceutical industry, and the real links between universities, hospitals, institutions and scientific associations on the one hand, and the centers of power on the other hand.

    Intellectual, economic and political circles are not independent.

    • ublished on: 11 September 2018
      Strongly support the conclusions of this article written by Jørgensen et al.
      Yukari Yaju, Pharmacist, Registered Nurse Medwatcher Japan
      Other Contributors:
      Masumi Minaguchi, Lawyer, Secretary-General of Medwatcher Japan
      The authors addressed important limitations in the Cochrane HPV vaccine review and stated that the Cochrane HPV vaccine review authors should make every effort to identify all trials and the trials’ limitations in their conclusion. We (members of Medwatcher Japan [YAKUGAI Ombusperson], an NGO that was launched in 1997 to monitor and prevent drug-induced disasters) strongly support their conclusions.
      Medwatcher Japan released an open letter (original Japanese document) ‘Critical Opinion on Cochrane Review of HPV Vaccines’ dated on June 8th, 2018 and raised some comments concerning the content of the Cochrane HPV vaccine review and the governance of the Cochrane organisation. We have submitted the open letter (English translation of the original Japanese document) to some relevant parties in charge of Cochrane on August 13th, 2018. Furthermore, we have submitted the short version which was limited to the specifics of the contents of the Cochrane HPV vaccine review via the feedback system on The Cochrane Library on August 31st, 2018. It has been confirmed that the short version was published via the Cochrane Library feedback system. We have not, however, received any responses directly from the Cochrane.
      Therefore, in addition to the points raised in this article by Jørgensen et al., we would like to address the following key comments concerning the content of the Cochrane review in this response:

      1. Since the effectiveness claimed in the Cochrane review does not coincide with the target age groups of school-based HPV vaccination programs, the Cochrane review’s authors should point out that effectiveness in the main age group for HPV vaccination has not been verified.

      2. Since there is an available data for females of the study V501-018, the only study which used a saline placebo as the control, the Cochrane review’s authors should try to collect the female data of the study V501-018 and include it in the review.

      3. The Cochrane review’s authors did not make mention of the characteristics of occurrence of post-HPV vaccination clinical symptoms such as multi-layered occurrence of various symptoms in the long-term after vaccination in individual adolescent girls. We suggest that the discussion on the characteristics of the multi-layered occurrence of various symptoms in the long-term after HPV vaccination should be considered.

      4. Despite Japanese researchers have published many papers providing evidence of the harms of HPV vaccines, those studies were not cited by the Cochrane review’s authors. Results of those studies should be cited and discussed in relation to the review findings in the Discussion section.

      5. Three of the four authors of the Cochrane review (M. Arbyn, C. Simoens and PPL. Martin-Hirsch) had received travel grants from HPV vaccine manufacturers. In light of the Cochrane conflict of interest guidelines’ criteria, we believe that a COI might exist in the Cochrane review authors.

      The full contents of our open letter (English translation of the original Japanese document), including an appendix table are as given below:
      (PDF available from: http://www.yakugai.gr.jp/en/topics/topic.php?id=964)

      ‘Critical Opinion on Cochrane Review of HPV Vaccines’

      Toshihiro Suzuki, Managing Director
      YAKUGAI Ombudsperson “Medwatcher Japan”
      1-14-4 AM building, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0022, Japan
      URL: http://www.yakugai.gr.jp/en/

      1 Introduction
      In May 2018, Cochrane published the findings of a systematic review of 26 randomised controlled trials to determine the efficacy and harms of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines [1]. The aim of a systematic review is to provide highly reliable evidence on efficacy and harms by exhaustively collecting randomised controlled trials on the efficacy of a particular medical intervention, providing a critical appraisal of each trial’s methodology, and applying appropriate statistical methodology to synthesise the results of these trials. The Cochrane HPV vaccine review, however, falls far short of an ideal systematic review and contains numerous problems that cannot be ignored. These problems are discussed below.

      2 Review of Efficacy
      The HPV vaccine review claims to have confirmed a reduction in the risk of developing precancerous cervical lesions (even though the longest follow-up period was 8 years) based on an evaluation of efficacy in 26 randomised controlled trials, 25 of which were industry-funded. The risk of developing precancerous cervical lesions is a surrogate endpoint, but what the review did not confirm was a reduction in cervical cancer itself as a true endpoint of efficacy. Thus, the review does not add anything new to previous claims of efficacy by the pharmaceutical industry.
      The age range for HPV vaccination in Japanese clinical practice is primarily 12 to 16 years, whereas the HPV vaccine review evaluated efficacy in females aged 15 and older, and the review authors claim in their conclusion that a prophylactic effect against precancerous lesions was confirmed in females aged 15 to 26. It should therefore be noted that the efficacy claimed in the review does not coincide with the current vaccination age group in Japan. In their discussion, the authors suggest that HPV vaccines may also be effective in girls younger than 15, noting that this age group is assumed to resemble the population of HPV-negative females 15 and older in terms of efficacy, further citing research in which girls 15 and younger showed a similar immune response to females aged 15 to 26 years. However, the review evaluated efficacy only in the population aged 15 years and above and failed to point out that efficacy has not been verified in the primary age group for clinical practice in Japan.

      3 Review of Harms
      The HPV vaccine review investigated harms based on the number of adverse event reports in 23 of the 26 clinical trials evaluated. It found that the HPV vaccination group had no increased risk of serious adverse events compared to the control groups, and no significant increase in deaths. However, the analysis of harms in this review contained the following problems.

      (1) Adjuvanted placebos or other vaccines were used as controls
      Of the 23 evaluated trials, one used an unadjuvanted hepatitis A vaccine as the control and the remaining 22 trials used an adjuvanted placebo or other adjuvanted vaccine as the control (See appendix table). Considering that there appear to be risks not only from HPV-derived ingredients (L1 protein) [2] but also from powerful adjuvants, the safety of HPV vaccines should be verified by comparison between an HPV vaccine formulation (designed to maintain a high antibody titer over a long period by adding a powerful adjuvant to L1 protein) and an unadjuvanted placebo.
      In fact, study V501-018 was the only study to use a saline placebo control for the quadrivalent vaccine Gardasil. However, this trial was excluded from the HPV vaccine review’s evaluation. The review authors justified this exclusion on the grounds that although the trial included both sexes, the paper presenting the trial results did not separate male and female data, and upon inquiry the authors were told that separate data was not available for females. However, considering that study V501-018 was funded and sponsored by Merck and targeted both sexes, it is difficult to imagine that separate data was not maintained for males and females. In fact, an FDA clinical review [3] presents data on adverse reactions in 320 females vaccinated with saline placebo in study V501-018. Although the FDA review only gives data on vaccination site pain, swelling and redness, the incidence of these reactions is two to three times greater in the Gardasil group than in the saline control group, suggesting that adjuvanted HPV vaccine formulations could induce a strong immune response. This exclusion, for inexplicable reasons, of a key trial from the HPV vaccine review’s evaluation of efficacy and safety, casts doubt on the reliability of the review.

      (2) Post-HPV vaccination symptoms cannot be ascertained from adverse event information in the clinical trials
      The characteristics of post-HPV vaccination clinical symptoms are gradually being revealed in numerous physician-reported adverse events, showing both the complexity of these symptoms and their clinical course. There are reports of a wide range of symptoms developing in a multi-layered manner over long periods spanning several months to several years (period of maintenance of high HPV antibody titer), as well as known autoimmune diseases such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) or similar symptoms, and even symptoms such as higher cognitive impairment.
      In contrast, adverse events collected in clinical trials are reported according to predetermined reporting criteria that presuppose the occurrence of known diseases and individual symptoms. Such a reporting system cannot capture post-HPV vaccination symptoms that follow a complex course characterized by multi-layered emergence of various symptoms over a long period, and it therefore follows that the true harms of HPV vaccines cannot be detected by simply comparing the incidence of individual adverse events reported in trials.
      The HPV vaccine review analysed serious adverse events through a meta-analysis based on the number of reports of individual symptoms collected during each trial’s follow-up period of several months to several years. The analysis found no difference in the incidence of adverse events between the HPV vaccine and control groups, and the review seems to conclude from this result that a certain level of safety has been demonstrated. However, as already discussed, this result is only based on the number of reports of known diseases and individual symptoms, and does not capture the multi-layered occurrence of various symptoms in the long-term after HPV vaccination in individual adolescent girls. This is a point that demands further attention.
      In an analysis of adverse event reports using Vigibase, Chandler and colleagues at the WHO Uppsala Monitoring Center noted that when symptoms such as headache, dizziness and syncope, or headache, dizziness and fatigue were analyzed as symptom clusters, the result was a significantly higher proportion of adverse event reports associated with HPV vaccines than with other vaccines, and the authors point out the limitations in the conventional analytical method of only extracting individual adverse events [4, 5].

      (3) Much of the literature showing evidence of harms is excluded from the Discussion
      As discussed above, there are some basic limitations in the evaluation of harms associated with HPV vaccines in the systematic review of 23 trials. In addition to the paper by Chandler et al, Japanese researchers alone have published many papers providing evidence of the harms of HPV vaccines. These include case reports [6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] by physicians who have observed in their own patients the characteristic adverse reactions described above, papers describing objective test findings of changes in the cerebrospinal fluid, brain and nervous system that can explain patients’ symptoms [12, 13, 14, 15], an animal experiment [16], and a paper reporting a temporal relationship between HPV vaccination and onset of HPV vaccine-related symptoms in vaccinated patients [17]. At the very least, the results of these studies should have been discussed in relation to the review findings in the Discussion section, but these articles were entirely ignored and excluded from the Discussion.

      (4) Critical discussion of epidemiology studies or reviews by international organisations and regulatory authorities is absent
      The only results considered in the Discussion section are those that deny any evidence of harm due to HPV vaccines, such as certain epidemiology studies and reviews by the CDC, EMA and other national regulatory authorities, the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) and other international organisations. Moreover, these conclusions are accepted without any critical scrutiny.
      However, the cited epidemiology studies were designed to target predefined known conditions and specific autoimmune diseases, and did not capture the characteristic post-HPV vaccination adverse reactions described above. Furthermore, even if patients with adverse reactions to an HPV vaccine were examined by a medical facility after developing a condition or autoimmune disease defined in the research, these are fundamentally difficult diseases to diagnose, and it is easy to imagine patients being given an inaccurate diagnosis. In fact, the paper by Chandler et al reports that despite POTS, CRPS and CFS being included in 20–58% of reported adverse reactions to HPV vaccines, the disease diagnosis only included these terms in 15% of 694 cases analysed using symptom cluster analysis. The opinions of the EMA and other national regulatory authorities and the statement from GACVS also rely on this kind of limited epidemiological research as their main evidence [18, 19].
      Notable bias was also apparent on the part of GACVS. Vaccine makers were in constant attendance as external experts at the regular meetings of GACVS, and a Freedom of Information request brought to light improper interference by the GACVS chairperson at a meeting of the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2014 in order to quash concerns over HPV vaccines [20]. It is therefore inadvisable to unquestioningly accept these opinions.

      4 Lessons from Review of Oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
      The conclusions of a Cochrane review published in 2000 claiming the efficacy and safety of zanamivir (Relenza) and oseltamivir (Tamiflu) for the prevention and treatment of influenza [21] were revised in 2009 to acknowledge that zanamivir and oseltamivir have a small effect in reducing the time needed for alleviation of influenza symptoms, and that their use for both prevention and treatment must be decided after weighing the benefits against the risks of adverse reactions. This revision process started when the Japanese physician Keiji Hayashi requested a reappraisal of the review, pointing out that the Kaiser Study in 2000 supporting the review conclusions had used data primarily from unpublished clinical trials for its evaluation. The Kaiser Study was a meta-analysis of 10 industry-funded clinical trials conducted in the latter half of the 1990s, but while two of these trials had been published in peer-reviewed journals, the other eight were unpublished or only published as abstracts. The Cochrane review team then asked the Kaiser Study authors for the data, but because the data was not forthcoming, the meta-analysis was repeated without the Kaiser Study, resulting in a very different conclusion [22, 23]. This episode demonstrates that even Cochrane Systematic Reviews are at risk of reaching the wrong conclusion if the appropriate selection and critical examination of evaluated trials are neglected.
      The influenza review was redone by Tom Jefferson of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in response to criticism of the review’s findings. Also based at the Nordic Cochrane Centre, a research group led by Peter C. Gøtzsche conducted a detailed review of the EMA evaluation of HPV vaccines, and identified failings in the basic evaluation materials and review methodology, including a lack of critical scrutiny and independent re-analysis of data provided by the vaccine makers, and omission of some clinical trials in a less-than-exhaustive review [24]. It is therefore inexplicable that the HPV vaccine review should uncritically accept the EMA evaluation without mentioning these findings from the Nordic Cochrane Centre.

      5 Bias in Press Release
      The way in which the HPV vaccine review was announced raises questions about bias. Cochrane’s press release introduced the first author M. Arbyn as citing the GACVS statement, “…the risk-benefit profile of prophylactic HPV vaccines remains favourable and unjustified claims of harm that lack biological and epidemiological evidence may affect the confidence of the public”. The HPV vaccine review has numerous limitations, as discussed above, but characterising expressions of doubt over the risk-benefit profile of HPV vaccines as “unjustified claims of harm” is more than enough to raise questions about the neutrality of this review.
      Research on capturing the actual situation and identifying causes needs to progress in order to ascertain the true harms of pharmaceuticals, and the history of pharmaceutical scandals demonstrates that this process this takes time. Therefore, the approach required when reviewing harms should be one that seeks detection of risk signals rather than evidence of safety defined as the absence of any increased risk from an intervention. However, this basic approach is completely absent in the HPV vaccine review and press release.
      In addition to the press release, the Cochrane website also presents feedback from the medical community in the form of comments from physicians welcoming the review findings, but it seems inappropriate to publish comments from physicians acting as consultants for GlaxoSmithKline and Merck (known as MSD in the US and Japan).

      6 Conflict of Interest

      (1) Authors’ conflict of interest
      At publication of the final version of the protocol, conflicts of interest had already been identified for two of the review’s six authors. When the review results were subsequently published there were four authors (one of the two protocol authors with conflicts of interest remained as the lead author of the review). In addition, three of the remaining four authors (M. Arbyn, C. Simoens and PPL. Martin-Hirsch) had received travel grants from HPV vaccine manufacturers, which in and of itself raises questions about conflict of interest.
      In particular, the lead author of the review, M. Arbyn, has continued to publish papers emphasizing the efficacy of HPV vaccines as lead author or co-author of papers on HPV vaccine trials. For example, ‘Prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccines: the beginning of the end of cervical cancer’ [25], published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer in 2004, was co-authored by M. Arbyn with J. Paavonen, who has written papers on clinical trials of Cervarix and Gardasil. Also, ‘Review of current knowledge on HPV vaccination’ [26], published in the Journal of Clinical Virology in 2008 was co-authored by M. Arbyn with J. Dillner, who has written papers on clinical trials of Gardasil.
      M. Arbyn is also closely connected with EUROGIN, an international organisation of which MSD is the Platinum sponsor [27], and he has been selected as a program committee member for EUROGIN 2018, together with the likes of X. Bosch, J. Paavonen and J. Dillner, who have all written papers on vaccine clinical trials [28]. In 2012, M. Arbyn also wrote a review in EUROGIN 2011 which expressed an optimistic view about HPV vaccines [29].
      It is notable that a 2015 Cochrane review on type 2 diabetes was withdrawn when a conflict of interest emerged between the review’s authors and the pharmaceutical industry [30]. As this withdrawal demonstrates, rather than unquestioningly accepting a review by a particular research group, Cochrane has, in the past, openly debated each review’s validity and made the necessary corrections and changes, even after publication of the review plan and review findings. Thus, it is difficult to understand Cochrane Review’s inaction in the face of these obvious and documented instances of conflict of interest.

      (2) Donation of 130 million yen from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
      In 2016, Cochrane received roughly 130 million yen from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [31], which promotes vaccination. Half of this amount was spent in the same year [32]. In 2016, Cochrane reported income of 6.8 million pounds (about one billion yen) and expenditures of 8.1 million pounds (about 1.2 billion yen). This donation constitutes more than 10% of Cochrane’s income for 2016, a significant fact that cannot be ignored.

      7 Conclusion
      On 24 March 2018, YAKUGI Ombudsperson ‘Medwatcher Japan’ held a symposium which had invited representatives of patient groups for victims of adverse reactions to HPV vaccines from the UK, Spain, Ireland, Colombia and Japan. It became clear from this meeting that each country had witnessed the same clinical characteristics of diverse and multi-layered adverse reactions to HPV vaccines and the same dramatically high number of postmarketing adverse event reports compared to other vaccines. It also emerged that some adverse reaction victims were told that they had ‘psychological problems’ by medical professionals and were thus unable to receive appropriate medical care. Moreover, not only has industry and government failed to put any relief measures in place due to lack of recognition of any causal relationship between HPV vaccines and adverse reactions, but some victims have been labelled ‘anti-vaccine’ and falsely accused of lying about symptoms by physicians and journalists promoting the vaccine, even though these patients had chosen to have the HPV vaccination because they believed it to be safe and effective [33].
      Until these problems are recognized and understood, we are concerned that Cochrane’s HPV vaccine review, which is fundamentally flawed, will be used by people and organisations seeking to promote HPV vaccines. We urge Cochrane to live up to its stated mission of being “the benchmark for high-quality information about the effectiveness of health care.”

      (English translation of the original Japanese document, ‘Critical Opinion on Cochrane Review of HPV Vaccines’; released on 7 June, 2018; revised on 8 June, 2018. http://www.yakugai.gr.jp/topics/topic.php?id=956)

      References
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      [2] Lenz P, Day PM, Pang YY, Frye SA, Jensen PN, Lowy DR, et al. Papillomavirus-like particles induce acute activation of dendritic cells. J Immunol. 2001; 166: 5346-55.
      [3] Clinical Review of Biologics License Application Supplement STN# 125126/1297.0 – male indication for GARDASIL. https://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedPr… [accessed: 6 August 2018]
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      [5] Chandler RE, Edwards IR, Lindquist M. Comment on “Safety of Human Papillomavirus Vaccines: An Updated Review”. Drug Saf. 2018; 41: 537-8.
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      [10] Takahata K, Takashima H. A proposal for a new neurological examination for discrimination of autoimmune encephalopathy and somatoform disorders. Neurological Therapeutics 2016; 33: 9-18. [in Japanese]
      [11] Takahashi Y, Matsudaira T, Nakano H, Nasu H, Ikeda H, Nakaoka K, et al. Immunological studies of cerebrospinal fluid from patients with CNS symptoms after human papillomavirus vaccination. J Neuroimmunol. 2016; 298: 71-8.
      [12] Kuroiwa Y, Yokota S, Nakamura I, Nishioka K. Human papilloma virus vaccination (HPV V) – associated neuro-immunopathic syndrome (HANS) : a comparative study of the symptomatic complex occurring in Japanese and Danish young females after HPV V. The Autonomic Nervous System 2018; 55: 21-30.
      [13] Hirai T, Kuroiwa Y, Hayashi T, Iguchi Y. Neurological disorder after human papilloma virus vaccination: objective findings. Neurological medicine 2016; 85: 536-46.
      [14] Hirai T, Kuroiwa Y, Hayashi T, Uchiyama M, Nakamura I, Yokota S, Nakajima T, et al. Adverse effects of human papilloma virus vaccination on central nervous system: Neuro-endocrinological disorders of hypothalamo-pituitary axis, Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic & Clinical 2016; 201: 74.
      [15] Matsudaira T, Takahashi Y, et al. Cognitive dysfunction and regional cerebral blood flow changes in Japanese females after human papillomavirus vaccination. Neurol Clin Neurosci. 2016; 4: 220-227. doi: 10.1111/ncn3.12083.
      [16] Aratani S, Fujita H, Kuroiwa Y, Usui C, Yokota S, Nakamura I, et al. Murine hypothalamic destruction with vascular cell apoptosis subsequent to combined administration of human papilloma virus vaccine and pertussis toxin. Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 36943. doi: 10.1038/srep36943. [retracted]
      [17] Ozawa K, Hineno A, Kinoshita T Ishihara S, Ikeda SI. Suspected Adverse Effects After Human Papillomavirus Vaccination: A Temporal Relationship Between Vaccine Administration and the Appearance of Symptoms in Japan. Drug Saf. 2017; 40: 1219-29.
      [18] Medwatcher Japan. “Refutation of GACVS (Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety) statement on Safety of HPV vaccine on December17, 2015”, 2016, http://www.yakugai.gr.jp/en/topics/topic.php?id=930 [accessed: 6 August 2018]
      [19] Beppu H, Minaguchi M, Uchide K, Kumamoto K, Sekiguchi M, Yaju Y. Lessons learnt in Japan from adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine: a medical ethics perspective. Indian J Med Ethics. 2017; 2: 82-8.
      [20] Medwatcher Japan. Open letter on the Discussion Meeting on Cervical Cancer Prevention Vaccines submitted to MHLW. 2016, http://www.yakugai.gr.jp/en/topics/topic.php?id=929 [accessed: 6 August 2018]
      [21] Jefferson T, Demicheli V, Deeks J, Rivetti D. Neuraminidase inhibitors for preventing and treating influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000; (2): CD001265.
      [22] Jefferson T, Jones M, Doshi P, Del Mar C. Neuraminidase inhibitors for preventing and treating influenza in healthy adults: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2009; 339: b5106.
      [23] Jefferson T, Jones MA, Doshi P, Del Mar CB, Hama R, Thompson MJ, et al. Neuraminidase inhibitors for preventing and treating influenza in healthy adults and children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014; (4): CD008965.
      [24] Jefferson T, Jørgensen L. Human papillomavirus vaccines, complex regional pain syndrome, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and autonomic dysfunction – a review of the regulatory evidence from the European Medicines Agency. Indian J Med Ethics. 2017; 2: 30-7.
      [25] Tjalma WA, Arbyn M, Paavonen J, van Waes TR, Bogers JJ. Prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccines: the beginning of the end of cervical cancer. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2004; 14: 751-61.
      [26] Arbyn M, Dillner J. Review of current knowledge on HPV vaccination: an appendix to the European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Cervical Cancer Screening. J Clin Virol. 2007; 38: 189-97.
      [27] EUROGIN 2018, Sonsors. https://www.eurogin.com/2018/360-sponsors-exhibitors.html [accessed: 6 August 2018]
      [28] EUROGIN 2018, Program Committee. https://www.eurogin.com/2018/341-program-committee.html [accessed: 6 August 2018]
      [29] Arbyn M, de Sanjosé S, Saraiya M, Sideri M, Palefsky J, Lacey C, et al. EUROGIN 2011 roadmap on prevention and treatment of HPV-related disease. Int J Cancer. 2012; 131: 1969-82.
      [30] Hemmingsen B, Lund SS, Gluud C, Vaag A, Almdal TP, Wetterslev J. Targeting intensive glycaemic control versus targeting conventional glycaemic control for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015; (7): CD008143. [withdrawn]
      [31] Cochrane, Cochrane announces support of new donor. 2016. https://www.cochrane.org/news/cochrane-announces-support-new-donor [accessed: 6 August 2018]
      [32] Financial report in Cochrane 2016 Annual Review. pp18. https://www.cochrane.org/sites/default/files/public/uploads/2016_annual_… [accessed: 6 August 2018]
      [33] Medwatcher Japan, Rebuilding Hope Association HPV Vaccine Victims (in Colombia), AAVP (Association of Affected People Due to the HPV Vaccine in Spain) , AHVID (UK Association of HPV Vaccine Injured Daughters), REGRET (Reactions and Effects of Gardasil Resulting in Extreme Trauma, in Ireland), National Network of Cervical Cancer Vaccine Victims in Japan, National Plaintiffs Association for the HPV Vaccines Lawsuits in Japan. Joint Statement 2018 for the Victims of HPV Vaccines”, 2018. http://www.yakugai.gr.jp/en/topics/topic.php?id=953 [accessed: 6 August 2018]

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      Conflict of Interest:
      None declared.

  2. Dr. Gotzsche, everything that has taken place is sickening beyond words, so atrocious it’s difficult to read the details of all the corruption (in various links) especially given these matters involve the safety and integrity of healthcare.

    As you said, “Administrators prefer to save face rather than admit they were wrong”. So true, they never want to admit they made a mistake as ego and saving face is always more important to them.

    Thank God there are still honest people who are prepared to stand up to corruption in order to help others. The world is very lucky there are still people like you, Dr. Breggin, Robert Whitaker and other professionals who stand up and do the right thing.

    I am happy to read you are planning to establish the “Institute for Scientific Freedom” along with Dr. Breggin and Robert Whitaker. I will donate to the crowdfunding and I wish you much success with this new endeavor and with the ongoing corrupt battle.

      • While of course this charge can be easily supported, I believe its original demonstration was intended to point to the interjection within our own ‘Temple’ (consciousness) as a template of definition and control associated with ‘determining’ rather than uncovering truth, and associated with vengeance as the basis for a self-righteous justification of attack.

        So I am reading this in the events around Dr Peter Gøtzsche’s exclusion and his response. And I reflect this here now as a call to own our feelings rather than be driven by blind reaction or ‘blind-spots’ of a personal sense of grievance.

  3. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, Dr. Gøtzsche, for your honest medical research and your speaking the truth. It boggles my mind the levels to which not just doctors, but the religions (whose hospitals profit from the doctors’ iatrogenesis), will stoop to cover up the medical industry’s crimes against humanity.

    I’m glad to hear you and Dr. Peter Breggin are starting up the “Institute for Scientific Freedom,” as I know our world is in dire need of truthful medical education. The current, sad state of affairs of, particularly our psychiatric community, is truly staggering. Although understandable, given the undeserved power the psychiatrists have been given, and the money involved.

    What very few of the doctors seem to understand, however, which us ethical American banking families understood, right after 9/11/2001, is that the wrong people are in charge, and our world’s monetary systems are a satanic joke.

    And a whole bunch of anticholinergic toxidrome poisonings don’t change that insight. But they do help a banker’s daughter understand the systemic crimes of “the two original educated professions,” in addition to the bankers’ crimes against humanity.

    The systems are satanic, and need to be changed. Thank you for speaking out against the crimes being committed against humanity by today’s medical systems. And thankfully, I’m no longer the only former economics major who knows the banking system is screwed, and our monetary systems are going to fail.

    Lots of economic bloggers are now also pointing out the financial fraud, which will result in the coming failure of our world’s current banking system. But this does mean the doctors continued worship of money only, to rationalize their harm of millions of children (and adults), is stupid.

    We’re living in an insane world, controlled by the wrong people, unfortunately. The decent people do need to take control instead. Thanks to you, Dr. Peter Breggin, and Robert Whitaker for doing your part. God bless, and best wishes for wisdom and success in your future endeavors.

  4. Thank you Professor Gotzsche for your invaluable and gifted lifetime’s work and commitment to truly evidence based science, and for your courage and sacrifice in affording primacy to patient safety.

    It is a great comfort, for those who afford you the highest possible professional respect, to learn that your vital,
    impartial and ethical work will continue through the Institute for Scientific Freedom.

    TRM 123. Retired Consultant Physician.

    • You are very right Dr Peter:

      “…..can cause long-lasting brain impairment, which may explain why the use of these drugs makes it difficult for people to live a normal life….”

      But I believe, with suitable (even short term) help most people can reclaim their lives.

  5. “Medical” Convenience.

    The most Renowned Eye Hospitals in the world are probably based in London and belong to the NHS; I have attended two of these hospitals with eyesight problems.

    When in both of these hospitals I reported (my own personal experience) of historical psychotropic drug effects to my eyes, my ‘drug eye connection’ was omitted from my records, and Prejudicial Mental Health Entries were entered instead.

    The Consultant Eye Specialist in the more exclusive Hospital was the worst offender for this type of behavior:- he recorded (alongside his eye diagnosis) that I ‘took Seroquel for my Psychiatric Problems’ (while at the same time omitting what I had told him about the historical psychotropic eyesight effects).

    The prescription of Seroquel at 25 mg per night – due to its low dosage would not be prescriptive for any Psychiatric Problem whatsoever.

    The miniscule dose was something I had already explained to the Specialist.

  6. I was a psychotherapist for 50 years and my patients and I discovered that psychotic patients could be cured with insight oriented psychotherapy, and suitable rehabilitation.
    I thought that this would be wonderful news for a society burdened with an epidemic of mental illness.
    But exactly the opposite happened! The professional organizations to which I belonged virtually wrote me off, and certainly weren’t interested in how we did it, although they continued to send me ‘hopeless ‘ cases.
    I sometimes wonder if science has been narrowed excessively: it has been great at discovering secrets of the physical world, and saving us from being dominated by religious spirituality, but it hasn’t yet accepted that scientific method can be used to great benefit to study the subjective, spiritual, psychological world, and to help those trapped in nightmare like conditions.

  7. I mentioned before that I think the “crime” here was the critique of the vaccine research. Vaccines are supposed to be the future of the race, ask Bill Gates, as we are all considered livestock. People working on exposing the dangers of vaccines have been getting routinely and “mysteriously” killed over the past few years, so people need to watch Peter’s back, and their own.

    • I only became a vaccine skeptic after my eyes were opened to the corruption of psychiatry and the fraud rotting all Western medicine. Some vaccines have helped us greatly. Smallpox and polio for example. But the flu?

      I notice flu rates are as high as ever. Of course this is because the vaccines only protect against a few of the most common. And the flu virus mutates rapidly.

      Despite the mandatory flu vaccines I hear all these PSA’s by doctors worried about the “unvaccinated” since flu rates are higher than ever. So, despite more vaccines than ever experts attribute high flu infection rates to a lack of vaccines….Sound familiar?

      The Spanish flu epidemic killed a lot of people back in 1912. Flu epidemics like this are a rare phenomenon. And we have not had such a fatal epidemic since. Could it be that back in 1912 folks had poorer sanitation and nutrition? While that might be true, telling kids to wash their hands and eat more veggies wouldn’t let “non-profits” collect tax dollars by forcing parents to buy these treatments.

      Maybe I am unduly suspicious. I think the claims of damage from flu vaccines are exaggerated by many–that they’re more ineffective than harmful to the vast majority. But if flu vaccines are so great why aren’t flu infections down now? More people than ever receive these injections. Like claiming all the mass shootings that weren’t a problem before the 90’s are due to the lack of drugs that weren’t around before the 1980’s. Lucky for experts Americans are so gullible and anti-literate.

      • Where did all the “peanut allergies” and polio-like diseases suddenly afflicting children come from? And so-called “autism”? Vaccines are lowering the collective immunity of the race. And the idea of innoculating an entire class to protect one immunity-challenged child is preposterous — playing to the lowest common denominator. Also, the role of vaccines in the smallpox and polio epidemics may not be as definitive as claimed; the epidemics may have already been in natural decline when they were introduced.

        I have never gotten a flu vaccine and won’t be this year. (They don’t even work by their own standards.) There’s a saying among natural healers that “vaccination is not immunization.” Which is why they’re in the sights (apparently literally) of pharma.

        • Our standards of high cleanliness are responsible for all these autoimmune diseases and allergies. Some respected professionals have conducted studies in support of this. One famous doctor has even linked the high rates in childhood leukemia to lack of exposure to viruses and bacteria.

          Remember what killed the Martians in War of the Worlds?

      • Flu vaccines are notoriously ineffective; I seem to remember one year when it was estimated to protect a paltry 10% of the population. I’ve had the flu a number of times in my life, last in 2009 or so. It’s a pain in the ass, but unless there is some reason you’re weakened, it’s most likely just a temporary discomfort. Most of the deaths are in the very old or the very young. It looks like this year’s version is 60% effective, meaning there is slightly less than a 50-50 chance you’re being immunized for zero benefit. Everyone has to make their own decisions, but the flu vaccine is definitely overhyped (sorry, bad pun!) in my view.

        • When people rely on this stuff they weaken their capacity to develop natural immunity. Fortunately they didn’t give MMR shots when I was growing up; I caught my measles and am now naturally immune, like all my classmates. I think I just “processed” a flu or some other virus in a couple days with only a bit of fatigue and general “out-of-sorts”-ness, instead of being laid out and miserable for days/weeks — thanks largely to my chiropractor, and probably my diet.

          • I also wonder what the onslaught of one vaccination after another does to a little child’s immune system development. It was one thing when there were 3-4 vaccinations spread out between 0 and 5. Now kids are hit with a dozen or more, many happening shortly after birth. It can’t be a good thing.

        • With the flu vaccine it’s almost like taking a dart and throwing it at a bunch of names of flu strains. Which one they hit with the dart is the one that make the vaccine for. They are predicting which flu strain will be the predominant one for that season and then they make the vaccine for it. So, in all actuality they are doing nothing more than making a SWAG, or what is more commonly known as making a scientific wild-assed guess!

          • Psychiatry isn’t posing, it pretty much is our official Pre-Crime Division. Insanity, after all, is defined in our legal system as a danger to self and others, that is, they lock people up in hospitals (sic) for that, being a danger to self and others. Seeing as no crime has necessarily been committed for them to do so, I’d have to say that Insanity and Pre-Criminality must be pretty much the same thing, or, in other words, interchangeable terms.

            I’ve heard psychiatrists say the very same thing you say about sooth saying about diagnosis.

  8. Dr Peter ( one of my two favorite Dr Peters ;),
    I hope you are reading these comments and know of the support you have in this community and around the globe.
    Your bravery and integrity are tremendous and I consider you one of the superheros in this world.
    Sadly, you join the warriors of history who have paid dearly for speaking the truth when few others would.
    I pray things work out well with the hospital and with your new scientific endeavor.
    Please remember you have saved countless lives with your spoken truths and that journey is not over.
    With blessings for a fruitful, wonderful 2019 and thanks from the bottom of my heart,

    -Erin

  9. None of this surprises me. The corruption and ousting does not surprise me. Anyone who speaks the truth and is persistent about it is going to be targeted by these corrupt organizations that are desperate to silence us. They will silence a person any way they can, legally or illegally.

    I had a speaking engagement in 2017 at an eating disorders conference. I had applied for this and was chosen, as I heard, from among 200 applicants. Months later, the organization (NEDA/BEDA) wrote to me and told me they were trashing my presentation. Basically I was told that an informant had let on that I was somehow too mentally ill (psychotic) to do this presentation. The one way to totally discredit a person is to call that person psychotic. You’ll never be believed or seen as credible again.

    To this day I do not know who made the call to NEDA/BEDA. Undoubtedly a former provider saw me there on the roster and phoned them telling them I’m incompetent or whatever. Only a former provider, or someone claiming to be, would have the clout to do this effectively. I would love to find out. It is only another underhanded way they have retaliated.

  10. It is great to see such top team together. Hoping things go well in one way or the other.

    I hope one of the targets of the new constellation is to think of modern media strategies to spread the word as wide as soon as possible. Every day there are numerous people making the choice about drugs pushed to them. Lets fight to minimize the number of new starters on useless dangerous psych drugs.

    Dr. Breggin says two things just as directly as they should be said (so that the whole population gets the core message eventually)
    – all psych drugs do potentially cause even permanent damage and loss of life in different ways
    – the first visit to the psychiatrists office is one of the most dangerous things one can ever do. (and the society still in 2019 supports this rotten system of greediness)

    Ready and willing to fight with you with the limited power left in me as one of severely damaged victims. We just have to win this. When enough people know the truth, the pressure will finally be felt at the highest decision making level of nations. Psychiatry and pharma as they are today deserve a full rundown, and a building of a science based humane caretaking system.

      • In addition to this, trying to get help and connections in every country should be done, to try to get through to the mainstream media. It is hard, but finding a right journalist is key. The times a probably better for pushing through this controversial topic, if an intelligent journalist understands the real state of the issue. They are brave enough to push it through within their organizations and network. With a local reporter here we are already drafting the structure of such potential articles. They have to contain true shocking cases as well as suitable figures and statements from our gurus and local practitioners. The same format could be reused easily all over the world.

        And one more thing; the admins of major support/sufferer sites should be contacted to form a picture of how many sites and members there are just in these groups, left alone to support each other and seek for cure, which is not available from the system.