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when money talks; cochrane walks


Cochrane Collaboration Fraud

“I found recent examples (2007 to 2012) of serious crimes committed by each company. The crimes included marketing drugs for off-label uses, misrepresentation of research results, hiding data on harms, and Medicaid and Medicare fraud. Doctors were often complicit in the crimes, as kickbacks were common. The crimes were repetitive. Conclusions: The crimes persist because crime pays. Harder sanctions are therefore needed, including prison sentences for CEOs and other senior executives.

Doctors and their organisations should consider carefully whether they find it ethically acceptable to receive money that may have been partly been earned by crimes that are harmful to patients.” Dr. Peter Gøtzsche from a 2012 study published in the British Medical Journal (Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry is Common, Serious and Repetitive)

“Cochrane evidence provides a powerful tool to enhance your healthcare knowledge and decision making. Cochrane’s 11,000 members come from more than 130 countries, worldwide.  Our global independent network gathers and summarizes the best evidence from research to help you make informed choices about treatment and we have been doing this for 25 years.  We do not accept commercial or conflicted funding. This is vital for us to generate authoritative and reliable information, working freely, unconstrained by commercial and financial interests.”  From the website of the Cochrane Collaboration

When Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits were singing Money for Nothing back in 1985, they certainly weren’t talking about medical research.  But as you’ll soon see, they could have been.  It’s a sector, which as I’ve shown you in DOZENS OF POSTS, that’s become increasingly bought and paid for by industry, i.e. big pharma. 

When big donors fork out big bucks to an organization known for it’s impartial data reviews (THE COCHRANE COLLABORATION), don’t kid yourself; they want some pro quo for their quid (“Cochrane is delighted to announce that we have received a grant of USD $1.15 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation“).  Listen to how Marcus and Oransky called it in a recent edition of the medical daily, STAT (Turmoil Erupts Over Expulsion of Member From Leading Evidence-Based Medicine Group).

“The Cochrane Collaboration, which reviews the scientific literature in areas of clinical research and produces widely cited analyses that help guide clinical practice, kicked out a member who has been an outspoken critic of certain vaccines and has blasted the profession of psychiatry for pushing unsafe drugs on unsuspecting patients.  The expulsion of Peter Gøtzsche sparked accusations that the Collaboration is too friendly toward the drug industry. Four other members of the organization’s governing board resigned in response, citing concerns that the action ‘goes against Cochrane ethos.’ 

Cochrane’s governing board said that it finds itself in ‘an extraordinary situation’ and that the four board members who resigned ‘actively disseminated an incomplete and misleading account of events.’ The decision, the board said, ‘is not about freedom of speech. It is not about scientific debate. It is not about tolerance of dissent. It is not about someone being unable to criticize a Cochrane Review.’ Instead, the board said, ‘It is about a long-term pattern of behaviour that we say is totally, and utterly, at variance with the principles and governance of the Cochrane Collaboration.'”

These last few sentences are interesting because as you’ll see momentarily, this is almost exactly why Gøtzsche claims he was ousted from Cochrane.   When six of Cochrane’s governing board of 13 members recently voted to expel founding member, Dr. Peter Gøtzsche, four other board members resigned along side.  Why was Gøtzsche under fire?  Why was he canned from the world’s premiere research analysis organization? 

Although his paper from earlier this summer (The Cochrane HPV Vaccine Review was Incomplete and Ignored Important Evidence of Bias) was listed as the straw that broke the camel’s proverbial back —- it was referred by detractors as a “hatchet job” —- it was actually co-authored by Oxford’s Tom Jefferson, who is not only an outspoken critic of and Cochrane’s chief expert on FLU VACCINES (HERE), he also happens to be the researcher who blew the lid off the TAMIFLU SCANDAL a few years back.  This was so big that even my mild-mannered brother, Dr. Kevin Schierling, had something to say about this fiasco, (HERE).

Jefferson is also responsible for organizing what’s come to be known as the RIAT ACT (Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials).  This group takes data from INVISIBLE & ABANDONED studies (the number one way big pharma defrauds the general public), adds them back to the published research, and then shows us how we’ve been hoodwinked by industry into thinking these meds and vaccines are both safe and effective (ANTIDEPRESSANTS are one of the worst offenders, and a significant reason for Gøtzsche’s criticism of the psychiatric profession). 

Speaking of VACCINES, you can’t be surprised that the earlier-mentioned ‘final straw’ had to do with one of Westernized medicine’s true sacred cows, the HPV vaccine.

Look folks; when you have 40% of the board of one of the world’s most elite research organizations resign (for the record, only 11 of the 13 voted), there’s something seriously problematic going on.  That something is corruption.  Despite innumerable problems seen with the HPV VACCINE, many of them debilitating or even deadly, 60% of the Cochrane Collaboration wants to keep things the way they are.  They enjoy status quo, not wanting to buck the system or bite the hand that feeds them. 

If you want to understand this debate better, I would suggest you read Dr. Gøtzsche’s public response to his unprecedented firing (A Moral Governance Crisis: The Growing Lack of Democratic Collaboration and Scientific Pluralism in Cochrane).  I’ll leave you with a completely CHERRY-PICKED excerpt.

“Recently the central executive team of Cochrane has failed to activate adequate safeguards, not only technical ones (which are usually very good) to assure sufficient policies in the fields of epistemology, ethics and morality. Transparency, open debate, criticism and expanded participation are tools that guarantee the reduction of uncertainty of reviews and improve the public perception of the democratic scientific process. These are conditions and tools that cannot be eliminated, as has happened recently, without placing into serious doubt the rigorous scientific undertaking of Cochrane and eroding public confidence in Cochrane’s work. There has also been a serious democratic deficit.

The role of the Governing Board has been radically diminished under the intense guidance of the current central executive team and the Board has increasingly become a testimonial body that rubber-stamps highly finalized proposals with practically no ongoing in-put and exchange of views to formulate new policies.  Upon alerting the Cochrane leadership of these worrisome tendencies that negatively affect the operability and social perception of our scientific work, the Nordic Cochrane Centre has received a number of threats to its existence and financing. There has also been criticism in Cochrane concerning the over-promotion of favourable reviews and conflicts of interest and the biased nature of some scientific expert commentary… 

There is stronger and stronger resistance to say anything that could bother pharmaceutical industry interests. There has also been great resistance and stalling on the part of the central executive team to improving Cochrane ́s conflict of interest policy.  In recent years Cochrane has significantly shifted more to a business – a profit-driven approach.  What is at stake is the ability of producing credible and trustworthy medical evidence that our society values and needs.”  Peter C Gøtzsche Professor, Director, MD, DrMedSci, MSc, Nordic Cochrane Centre

If you like, you can read a response to Gøtzsche from another original member of Cochrane —- one who was thrilled to see him ousted —- health care advocate, Hilda Bastian (Boilover: The Cochrane HPV Vaccine Fire Isn’t Really About the Evidence – but it’s Critical to Science).  Since it’s becoming increasingly clear that you can no longer trust science, who should you trust?  Trust yourself of course!

The cool thing about the world wide web is that with a critical mind and diligent study, you can make yourself an “expert” (word used loosely of course) on any number of topics.  The goal of my site is to cut through the BS and sales pitches, while giving you tangible steps you can use to start reducing your body’s systemic inflammatory load and jump start the process of taking your life back (HERE).  As always, if you find our site interesting or helpful, be sure to show us some love on FACEBOOK.


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