Peter Gøtzsche

Peter Gøtzsche

Yesterday myself and Maria Bradshaw attended the launch of ‘The Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry’ in Westminster House. It was an absolute honour to be present at this ground-breaking initiative.

Despite a few hiccups, such as a delayed flight due to the fog in Gatwick, a very irate attendant at the ticket office, London’s tube strike and bloody Ryanair charging us an extra 140 pounds for printing 2 boarding cards; we finally made it to the launch, albeit 2 hours late and more than a little disheveled. Maria, being quite vain, wouldn’t let me take her picture as her hair wasn’t ‘quite right’ (in other words she looked decidedly frazzled). I on the other hand am used to some very dodgy photos, so had no such qualms – although the unsuspecting Peter Gøtzsche does look a little scared! Anyway back to the point:

The CEP’s mission is “To reduce psychiatric harm by communicating the latest evidence to policymakers and practitioners, by sharing the testimony of those who have been harmed, and by supporting research into areas where evidence is lacking”. Members of the CEP include psychiatrists, psychotherapists and academics. Among them are Peter Gøtzsche who co-founded the highly respected Cochrane Collaboration, James Davies, a psychotherapist, author and lecturer, and Dr. Joanna Moncrieff who is also a psychiatrist, author and Senior Lecturer in psychiatry at University College London.

In an earlier interview here, Peter was referring to the fact that prescription drugs are the 3rd leading cause of death in the western world, and said “I don’t know how people can kill so many patients in psychiatry and nobody does anything”. He estimated that Eli Lilly had caused 200,000 deaths with one drug alone; Zyprexa.

We got to meet many fabulous people yesterday, including Dr Andrew Herxheimer, Dr Bob Johnson, the Earl of Sandwich and his son Luke who organised the event, to name but a few. So despite all the hiccups and expense, it was worth every second to be present at the inception of this pioneering project. I have no doubt that the CEP will change the way people view medicine and prevent many, many deaths. It’s also great to see Professor David Healy’s work being backed up by other academics in this field.

Now Maria’s job, apart from finding a good hairdresser, is to persuade the CEP to come to Ireland! Find the CEP wesite here and their Twitter account here.

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