In June, we reported that Cochrane’s sources of funding—agencies and foundations that are unwilling to brook any questions about vaccine safety—raise reasonable doubts about Cochrane’s conflicts of interest and ability to remain independent from its funders’ agendas.
Now, researchers affiliated with one of Cochrane’s regional member centers (the Nordic Cochrane Centre) and with the Oxford-based Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (OCEBM) have come out with an exhaustive critique of Cochrane’s HPV review, published in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine.
Not mincing their words, the authors state:
We believe that the Cochrane [HPV vaccine] review does not meet the standards for Cochrane reviews or the needs of the citizens or healthcare providers that consult Cochrane reviews to make ‘Informed decisions,’ which…is part of Cochrane’s motto. [emphasis added].
The Nordic Cochrane Centre and OCEBM authors dress down Cochrane’s review on seven counts:
The Cochrane review missed nearly half of the eligible trials.
No included trial in the Cochrane review used a placebo comparator.
The included HPV vaccine trials used composite surrogate outcomes for cervical cancer.
The Cochrane review incompletely assessed serious and systemic adverse events.
The Cochrane review did not assess HPV vaccine-related safety signals.
The review ignored industry trial funding and other conflicts of interest.
Cochrane’s public relations of the review were uncritical.