In his column, Stéphane Foucart, a journalist at the "Monde", recounts the serious crisis in the organization that evaluates drugs, which faces sharp criticism from some of its members, against a background of suspicions of conflict of interest.
Chronic. In 1993, eighty researchers and independent physicians gathered around Iain Chalmers founded an international scientific collaboration – the Cochrane Collaboration, now simply called "Cochrane". Their objective was to carry out systematic reviews of the biomedical literature and thus establish, with the best available evidence, the most effective drug treatments and therapeutic interventions for a particular pathology. A quarter of a century later, Cochrane has become a beacon of "evidence-based medicine" (or "evidence-based medicine") and significantly influences the practice of many physicians and the recommendations of health authorities. To put it more simply: Without you knowing it, without knowing its very existence, Cochrane may have already saved your life. And if it does not, maybe you will save it in the future.
But the future of the institution, precisely, is compromised. This fact – since we are all sick waiting for their illness – should be worrying all of us. Because Cochrane is going through an unprecedented crisis that could be fatal, if not to the organization itself, at least to the spirit of transparency, integrity and independence, in which it has operated since its inception.
The eviction of the Danish Peter Gotzsche
The crisis had been brewing for several months. It breaks out on September 13, with the exclusion of Peter Gotzsche, one of Cochrane's founders and board member. Professor of Medicine and Danish researcher, Peter Gotzsche, 67, is not the first comer. Icon of factual medicine, he is the author of more than half a thousand articles in the biomedical literature and has, despite controversies, gained considerable authority in his community.
He is known for his harsh criticism of the pharmaceutical industry, …