Cochrane board upholds decision to dismiss director


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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The board of the Cochrane Collaboration has voted to uphold its controversial decision to dismiss Peter Gøtzsche from all his roles in the organisation despite an appeal, according to a report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The decision means that Gøtzsche ceases to be a member of the Cochrane Collaboration, director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre and a member of the board, to which he was elected in 2017.

Last month, the board voted to expel Gøtzsche, who has been a consistent critic of Cochrane’s reliance on industry-sponsored trials. In his election statement, seen by the BMJ, he had warned that the collaboration was being run “as a business with a brand” rather than its originally intended purpose and said too much power was being assumed by the centre. “I will work on refocusing our central values and aims,” he said. Gøtzsche has been particularly critical of recent Cochrane reviews of HPV vaccination and psychiatric medications.

However, in a statement, the board said its decision was based on an “ongoing, consistent pattern of disruptive and inappropriate behaviours” that undermined Cochrane’s collaborative culture and were detrimental to the charity’s work, reputation and members.

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