Tags: Coronavirus | Coronavirus Special | Health Topics | Media Bias | Cold/Flu | hydroxychloroquine | hcq

Credibility of Anti-Malaria Drug Studies for COVID-19 Falls Apart

hydroxychloroquine pills are taken out of the package
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By    |   Thursday, 04 June 2020 10:20 PM

Two large COVID-19 studies of a drug touted by President Donald Trump that warned of the risk of dangerous side effects and death have now been retracted after the credibility of the database used came under question.

The paper about chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine appeared in late May in The Lancet, warning of cardiac side effects associated with the drugs, and clinical trials were halted worldwide while investigators began safety reviews.

But questions arose about the data, as well as the analysis of the data in Dr. Mandeep Mehra's earlier heart study of the drugs, which had appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times reported.

"It is now clear to me that in my hope to contribute to this research during a time of great need, I did not do enough to ensure that the data source was appropriate for this use," Mehra said in a statement to the Times on Thursday.

"For that, and for all the disruptions — both directly and indirectly — I am truly sorry."

Mehra is the medical director of Brigham and Women's Hospital Heart and Vascular Center. Her retraction note was published by The Lancet on Thursday.

While the company that produced the original data, Surgisphere Corp., had signaled it would cooperate with an independent review, it ultimately reneged and said doing so would violate confidentiality agreements, the Times reported.

"We all entered this collaboration to contribute in good faith and at a time of great need during the COVID-19 pandemic," the authors said, the Times reported. "We deeply apologize to you, the editors, and the journal readership for any embarrassment or inconvenience that this may have caused."

The earlier study looking at the drug's use as a preventive treatment showed it did not stop at-risk people from being infected by the coronavirus.

The data also came from Surgisphere, which claims to have granular patient-level information shared by 1,200 hospitals and health facilities on six continents, the Times reported. The founder and chief executive, Dr. Sapan Desai, was listed as an author on both papers, the Times noted.

In an interview earlier this week, Dr. Desai defended the Surgisphere database.

"We did this because there was an opportunity to help," he told the Times. "We're not making any money from this; we're doing it at our own expense. This is why I went into medicine."

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Two large COVID-19 studies of a drug touted by President Donald Trump that warned of the risk of dangerous side effects and death have now been retracted after the credibility of the database used came under question.
hydroxychloroquine, hcq, resaeach, covid-19
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2020-20-04
Thursday, 04 June 2020 10:20 PM
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