Peter C. Gøtzsche

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Peter C. Gøtzsche (born 26 November 1949) is a Danish physician, medical researcher, and leader of the Nordic Cochrane Center at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark. He co-founded, and has written numerous reviews within the Cochrane collaboration.

Among his research findings are that placebo has surprisingly little effect[1][2][3] and that many meta-analyses may have data extraction errors.[4] Gøtzsche and his coauthors have been keen to criticize the research methods and interpretations of other scientists, e.g. in meta-analysis of placebo.[5][6]

Gøtzsche has commented on meta-analysis,[7] and the editorial independence of medical journals.[8] He has written about issues surrounding medical ghostwriting with the position that it is scientific misconduct.[9] He has also criticized the widespread use of SSRI antidepressants.[10]

Critique of mammography screening[edit]

Gøtzsche has been critical of screening for breast cancer using mammography, arguing that it cannot be justified; his critique has caused controversy.[11] His critique stems from a meta-analysis he did on mammography screening studies and published as Is screening for breast cancer with mammography justifiable? in The Lancet in 2000.[12] In it he discarded 6 out of 8 studies arguing their randomization was inadequate.

In 2006 a paper by Gøtzsche on mammography screening was electronically published in the European Journal of Cancer ahead of print.[13] The journal later removed the paper completely from the journal website without any formal retraction.[14] The paper was later published in Danish Medical Bulletin with a short note from the editor,[15] and Gøtzsche and his coauthors commented on the unilateral retraction that the authors were not involved in.[16]

In 2012 his book Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy was published.[17] In 2013 his book Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare was published.[18]


  • Peter C Gøtzsche; Henrik R Wulff (2007). Rational diagnosis and treatment : evidence-based clinical decision-making (4th ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780470723685. 
  • Peter C Gøtzsche (2012). Mammography screening : truth, lies and controversy. Radcliffe Publishing. ISBN 9781846195853. 
  • Peter C Gøtzsche; Richard Smith; Drummond Rennie (2013). Deadly medicines and organised crime : how big pharma has corrupted healthcare. Radcliffe Publishing. ISBN 9781846198847. 
  • Peter C. Gøtzsche (2015). Deadly Psychiatry and Organised Denial. People's Press. ISBN 978-87-7159-623-6. 



  1. ^ Asbjørn Hróbjartsson & Peter C. Gøtzsche (January 2002). "Hvad er effekten af placebobehandling? En systematisk oversigt over randomiserede kliniske forsøg med placebobehandlede og ubehandlede patienter [What is the effect of placebo interventions? A systematic review of randomised trials with placebo treated and untreated patients]". Ugeskrift for Læger. 164 (3): 329–333. PMID 11816328. 
  2. ^ Hróbjartsson, Asbjørn; Gøtzsche, Peter C. (2010-01-20). "Placebo interventions for all clinical conditions". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1): CD003974. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003974.pub3. ISSN 1469-493X. PMID 20091554. 
  3. ^ A. Hróbjartsson & P. C. Gotzsche (August 2004). "Is the placebo powerless? Update of a systematic review with 52 new randomized trials comparing placebo with no treatment". Journal of Internal Medicine. 256 (2): 91–100. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2796.2004.01355.x. PMID 15257721. 
  4. ^ Peter C. Gøtzsche; Asbjørn Hróbjartsson; Katja Maric; Britta Tendal (July 2007). "Data Extraction Errors in Meta-analyses That Use Standardized Mean Differences". JAMA. 298 (4): 430–437. doi:10.1001/jama.298.4.430. PMID 17652297.  There is a error in the article. Comments:
  5. ^ Asbjørn Hróbjartssona & Peter C. Gøtzsche (April 2006). "Unsubstantiated claims of large effects of placebo on pain: serious errors in meta-analysis of placebo analgesia mechanism studies". Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 59 (4): 336–338. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2005.05.011. PMID 16549252. 
  6. ^ Asbjørn Hróbjartsson, Peter C. Gøtzsche (2007). "Powerful spin in the conclusion of wampold et al.'s re-analysis of placebo versus no-treatment trials despite similar results as in original review". Journal of Clinical Psychology. 63 (4): 373–377. doi:10.1002/jclp.20357. PMID 17279532. 
  7. ^ Peter C. Gøtzsche (September 2000). "Why we need a broad perspective on meta-analysis". BMJ. 321 (7261): 585–586. doi:10.1136/bmj.321.7261.585. 
  8. ^ Peter C. Gøtzsche (2008). "Ytringsfrihed og redaktionel uafhængighed: Fire fyringer og en kafkask proces" (PDF). Ugeskrift for Læger. 170 (18): 1537. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-07. 
  9. ^ Peter C. Gøtzsche; Jerome P. Kassirer; Karen L. Woolley; Elizabeth Wager; Adam Jacobs; Art Gertel; Cindy Hamilton (2009). "What Should Be Done To Tackle Ghostwriting in the Medical Literature?". PLoS Medicine. 6 (2): e1000023. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000023. PMC 2634793Freely accessible. PMID 19192943. 
  10. ^ Gotzsche, Peter (30 April 2014). "Psychiatric drugs are doing us more harm than good". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  11. ^ Donald G. McNeil, Jr. (2002-04-09). "CONFRONTING CANCER: SCIENTIST AT WORK -- PETER GOTZSCHE; A Career That Bristles With Against-the-Grain Conclusions". New York Times. 
  12. ^ Peter C. Gøtzsche; Ole Olsen (January 2000). "Is screening for breast cancer with mammography justifiable?". The Lancet. 355: 129+. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(99)06065-1. 
  13. ^ Zahl, PH; Gøtzsche, PC; Andersen, JM; Mæhlen, J (March 2006). "WITHDRAWN: Results of the Two-County trial of mammography screening are not compatible with contemporaneous official Swedish breast cancer statistics". European Journal of Cancer. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2005.12.016. PMID 16530407. 
  14. ^ Kerry Grens (December 2006). "Mammography article withdrawal sparks dispute". The Scientist. [permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Per-Henrik Zahl; Peter C. Gøtzsche; Jannike Mørch Andersen; Jan Mæhlen (November 2006). "Results of the Two-County trial of mammography screening are not compatible with contemporaneous official Swedish breast cancer statistics". Danish Medical Bulletin. 53: 438–440. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2005.12.016. PMID 16530407. Archived from the original on June 21, 2007. 
  16. ^ Peter C Gøtzsche; Jan Mæhlen; Per-Henrik Zahl (November–December 2006). "What is a publication?". The Lancet. 368 (9550): 1854–1856. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69756-0. 
  17. ^ Gøtzsche, Peter C (2012). Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy. Milton Keynes: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd. p. 400. ISBN 978-1-84619-585-3. Archived from the original on 2012-05-27. 
  18. ^ Gotzsche, Peter (2013). Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare. Radcliffe. ISBN 9781846198847. 

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