Mar 19, 2017
This week, we talk to
Professor Peter Gøtzsche who is Director of the
Nordic Cochrane Centre in Denmark. Professor Gøtzsche graduated as
a master of science in biology and chemistry in 1974 and as a
physician in 1984. He is a specialist in internal medicine; worked
with clinical trials and regulatory affairs in the drug industry
and at hospitals in Copenhagen. He cofounded The Cochrane
Collaboration and established The Nordic Cochrane Centre in 1993.
In 2010 he became professor of Clinical Research Design and
Analysis at the University of Copenhagen. Peter has published more
than 70 papers in the mainstream medical journals and his
scientific works have been cited more than 15,000 times. He is also
an author and his books include Deadly medicines and organised
crime: how big Pharma has corrupted healthcare published in 2013
and in 2015 he published Deadly Psychiatry and Organised Denial. I
was keen to talk to Professor Gøtzsche about his background in
research, his views on antidepressant prescribing and how
pharmaceutical manufacturers have influenced mental healthcare.
There are few with his knowledge and understanding of psychiatric
In this episode we
- Professor Gøtzsche's background
in clinical trials within the Pharmaceutical industry.
- How the Pharmaceutical
manufacturers were manipulating clinical trial data for their own
- How drug manufacturers have
denied for more than 20 years that benzodiazepines and
antidepressant drugs cause dependance.
- How the UK drug regulator (MHRA)
also denied this in 2003 at the same time that the World Heath
Organisation reported that 3 antidepressants were in the top 30
list of drugs that create dependance.
- That surveys of patients show
that between 50% and 66% of those taking antidepressants experience
- The similarities between the
Pharmaceutical industry and the tobacco industry.
- How prescription drugs have
become the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and
- How Pharmaceutical manufacturers
have used their power and influence to the detriment of patient
- That the best science shows that
there is no doubt that psychiatric drugs have killed millions of
people over the years.
- How psychotherapy is shown to
reduce the risk of suicide but instead we prescribe pills that
increase the suicide risk for all ages of patients.
- That the chemical imbalance lie
is still being propagated amongst psychiatrists even thought here
is no scientific evidence whatsoever so support it.
- How Psychiatric drugs should be
used for acute/emergency situations only.
- That the medication centred
approach of Psychiatry does more harm than good.
- How patients should avoid
psychiatric drugs unless they are used for a very short time or
that the patient really feels that they need them.
- That when you look at the
randomised controlled trials, there is a large risk of bias in
these trials and that antidepressant efficacy has been
- That the Cochrane Collaboration
undertook the most rigorous meta analysis ever undertaken of 131
trials involving 27,422 patients taking SSRI's, this analysis
showed that antidepressants do not have any meaningful effects and
their harms outweigh any benefits there might be.
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© James Moore 2017