David Hammerstein 0

Letter to Danish Minister of Health against dismissal of Peter Gotzsche

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Dear Minister of Health of Denmark Ellen Trane Nørby:

We are writing to express our concern over the possible dismissal of Peter Gøtzsche from his job at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. We feel that Dr. Peter Gøtzsche´s work at the Nordic Cochrane Centre has been an important service to patients, taxpayers and the scientific community in Europe and globally. For many years the prestigious activity and publications of Dr. Gøtzsche have played a pivotal role in favour of the transparency of clinical data, the priority of public health needs and the defence of rigorous medical research carried out independently of conflicts of interest. The recent crisis within the Cochrane Collaboration that involved Dr. Gøtzsche and many other prominent long-time members of Cochrane should be seen in this light.

We ask you to reconsider this possible dismissal due to the great benefits taxpayers, patients and health-care professionals reap from his work aimed at studying the efficacy and safety of medical treatments. We also fear that the dismissal of Dr. Gøtzsche from the Rigshospitalet could harm the international reputation of Danish medical research and could seriously weaken Denmark´s traditional support for open scientific debate.

We hope this issue can be resolved amicably and fairly for the sake of public health, robust scientific debate and the wise spending of public money.

Thank you very much,

David Hammerstein, Former Member of the Cochrane Governing Board (2017-2018) and former Member of the European Parliament (2004-2009)

Tom Jefferson MD MRCGP FFPHM, Senior Associate Tutor, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6GG Member, Cochrane Collaboration (1994 - current)

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