From Undark: “The seeming suddenness of his expulsion, and what critics view as its misguided pretext, has exposed rifts that go back decades: debates about the pharmaceutical industry’s influence on medicine and about the research community’s tolerance of dissent. More fundamentally, Gøtzsche’s expulsion has crystalized a longstanding debate about the proper role of data in the practice of medicine.
Whatever their differences, Cochrane and Gøtzsche are both vocal supporters of evidence-based medicine, a movement that developed nearly 30 years ago to emphasize the use of well-designed research in medical decision-making. The problem is that neither side, nor really anyone, can agree on exactly what evidence-based medicine ought to mean. Some critics have characterized Gøtzsche as a rigid intellectual who views assessing scientific data as a purely technical task that does not require the input of experts in a given field. Gøtzsche calls such characterizations unfair, arguing that he simply advocates — as everyone at Cochrane should — for the use of rigorous methodology and the elimination of bias in assessing the efficacy of treatments. And while the organization has built its reputation on providing trusted evidence, Gøtzsche now criticizes its methods, accusing Cochrane of bending to industry influence and overlooking important documentation of harms.”