New national licence agreement offers Switzerland full access to Cochrane evidence

New national licence agreement offers Switzerland unlimited access to the Cochrane Library - the leading resource in evidence-based health care

Swiss patients and healthcare practitioners will now have access to more than 6500 published systematic reviews in healthcare interventions through one-click access to the  Cochrane Library. It is a leading resource in evidence-based research across areas including pregnancy, mental health, surgical procedures, and public health. Cochrane Reviews provide independent high-quality evidence to aid healthcare decision making.

Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health. The organization gathers and summarizes the best evidence from research to help make informed choices about treatment. Cochrane contributors - 37,000 from more than 130 countries - work together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Many contributors are leaders in their fields - medicine, health policy, research methodology, or consumer advocacy. The team of Cochrane Switzerland, based at Lausanne and Berne, is active in all language regions of Switzerland.

This newly signed national licence offers free access to the Cochrane Library to all residents in Switzerland, and the establishment of the licence has been made possible thanks to the initiative and financial contributions by the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, complemented by the Federal Office of Public Health and several other institutions. This national licence will enable some 8.2 million residents in Switzerland access to the Cochrane Library’s collection of healthcare databases, including gold-standard Cochrane Systematic Reviews. The licence will run from 2016 to 2020.

Cochrane Library’s Editor in Chief, Dr David Tovey, welcomed the move: “All countries need to ensure that scarce and limited health resources are used as effectively as possible. A national licence to the Cochrane Library such as this can be an important springboard for the further development of evidence informed health care within a country because access is universal and not limited to particular institutions.”

Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert, Editorial Director at John Wiley & Sons, comments: “Switzerland joins many other countries including England, India, Australia, and Norway with national access for all residents as a simple and effective way to provide access across the whole country, ensuring continuity of care, plus ensuring medical experts can use research evidence to push the boundaries in healthcare interventions.”

Dr. Erik von Elm, Co-Director of Cochrane Switzerland said: “Many health professionals know the Cochrane Library from their training when they could access it through the libraries of universities or teaching hospitals. But later they stopped using it regularly because of the pay wall. The new unlimited access from every computer in Switzerland is an opportunity to come back to evidence-based health information, to discover what is new and spread the word.”  

Prof. Bernard Burnand, Director of Cochrane Switzerland adds: “The Cochrane Library is also a useful resource for the general public. The plain language summaries in many languages, including German and French, facilitate access to evidence-based information. Cochrane Switzerland is collaborating with consumers’ associations to promote broad usage of the Cochrane Library, thus contributing to the appropriate and efficient use of health care.”


Editor’s notes
For more information please visit To learn more about Cochrane Switzerland visit:

The Cochrane Library is published on behalf of Cochrane by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

To arrange an interview, please contact

Jo Anthony
Senior Media and Communications Officer, Cochrane
M +44(0) 7582 726 634+44(0) 7582 726 634 T +44 207 183 7503+44 207 183 7503

Dawn Peters
Senior Publicist, Wiley
T +1 201 748 6358+1 201 748 6358

Hermann Amstad
Secretary General, Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences
+41 (0)313069270+41 (0)313069270

Erik von Elm
Co-Director, Cochrane Switzerland
+41 (0)21 314 72 62+41 (0)21 314 72 62

About Cochrane
Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health. Cochrane produces reviews which study all of the best available evidence generated through research and make it easier to inform decisions about health.

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Thursday, January 7, 2016