The authors withdrew from The Lancet magazine an article about the risks of using hydroxychloroquine. At the same time, other researchers were able to prove the danger of using this drug for the treatment of COVID-19 – in this case we are talking about problems with the data that were used in the work.
Chloroquine and its safer version of hydroxychloroquine were initially prescribed to patients with malaria. For several months, doctors considered these drugs to be the most promising remedy for treating the symptoms of COVID-19.
The scientific justification for this was a lot of small scientific studies, the vast majority of which were preprints – that is, publications that have not been tested by other scientists. In addition, not a single study matched the gold standard of drug efficacy testing — their authors did not conduct a randomized controlled trial.
The latest – and largest – global study of the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, conducted on 96 thousand patients around the world, says that the drug is practically useless against a new type of coronavirus.
Its authors also recalled from the scientific journal. The journal said the scientists were unable to independently verify the data on which the results of the study were based.
“Three of the authors of the article withdrew their research. They could not independently verify the data on which it was based. As a result, they came to the conclusion that “they can no longer vouch for the accuracy of the main data source”. The Lancet takes science credibility very seriously, and there are still a lot of questions about the Surgisphere and the information that were supposedly included in the study”.The lancet
The main problem of the study is related to the fourth participant in the work – the head of the American analytical company Surgisphere Sapan Desai. His company, which, as follows from its description, receives and consolidates large volumes of data from more than a thousand hospitals around the world, turned out to be very small – it employs only a few people. Desai himself has a dubious reputation.
Surgisphere refused to provide article reviewers with additional information about how the company database is populated, as well as the contacts of partner hospitals, referring to confidentiality agreements. As a result, the article was recalled from the journal.