The controversy surrounding the dismissal of co-founder Peter Gøtzsche from the board of the Cochrane Collaboration has heated up this week with the British Medical Journal (BMJ) reporting that Cochrane members in Spanish-speaking countries have called for an independent investigation into the decision.
The journal reports that the call was made in a statement signed by 26 directors and deputy directors of centres and associated centres of Cochrane Iberoamerica, which oversees centres in Spain, Andorra, Portugal and all Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America.
Although the statement has not yet been published on the group’s website, the BMJ says it stresses that those directly involved in the conflict must not be permitted to participate in this independent commission.
The group also calls for immediate elections to fill the places on the board left vacant by members who resigned in the wake of Gøtzsche’s sacking.
In September, the board voted to expel Gøtzsche for an “ongoing, consistent pattern of disruptive and inappropriate behaviours”. Gøtzsche has been a consistent critic of Cochrane’s dependence on industry-sponsored trials and has publicly questioned Cochrane reviews on certain issues, most recently on the safety of the HPV vaccine. An appeal against his dismissal has failed.