Controversial study on HCQ link to COVID-19 death risk retracted


Despite the retraction of the the study, however, a concurrent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday found there is no evidence that hydroxychloroquine helps prevent those taking the drug from becoming infected with the COVID-19 coronvirus.

"Our conclusion is that this treatment does not reduce the risk of dying from COVID among hospital patients and that clearly has significant importance for the way patients are treated, not only in the United Kingdom, but all around the world", said Martin Landray, an Oxford professor of medicine and epidemiology who co-leads the study.

Mandeep Mehra, a professor at Harvard University who led the work, along with Frank Ruschitzka of the University Hospital Zurich and Amit Patel of the University of Utah, said in a statement they had tried to launch a third-party peer review into the data.

Hydroxychloroquine, a drug to treat malaria and was backed consistently by US President Donald Trump, with White House recently announcing that Trump took the drugs without complaining of any side-effects.

They were not able to get first-hand access to the raw data and chose to retract the wider study, doctors said, after questions were raised about the underlying information used for the study, which was said to include patient medical records from 671 hospitals across six continents.

The randomised clinical trial-considered the gold standard for clinical investigation-and has recruited a total of 11,000 patients from patients from 175 hospitals in the United Kingdom to test a range of drugs.

The first research scandal of the coronavirus pandemic has created unnecessary distraction around the politically divisive drug hydroxychloroquine, scientists say, as questions swirl around the tiny health care company at the centre of the affair.

According to the researchers, this observational study suggests that the use of these two drugs should be limited to clinical trials until there is proof from randomised trials.

The Lancet is not the only prominent medical journal to have to retract a major study related to the coronavirus.

COVID-19: WHO resumes study on Hydroxychloroquine

The study was then retracted on Thursday after its authors said they were unsure about its data.

"This is a really important result, at last providing unequivocal evidence that hydroxychloroquine is of no value in treatment of patients hospitalised with COVID-19", said Peter Openshaw, a professor at Imperial College London, in reaction to the results.

An influential article that found hydroxychloroquine increases the risk of death in coronavirus patients has been retracted over data concerns.

The Lancet, a British journal, offered its own statement, saying, "There are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study".

Hydroxychloroquine has been heavily promoted by U.S. president Donald Trump.

Surgisphere, the company that collected the patient information came under fire for its inability to explain how it obtained and analyzed all the data from all those hospitals.

'Although it is disappointing that this treatment has been shown to be ineffective, it does allow us to focus care and research on more promising drugs'.

After a request from the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency the trial investigators reviewed the data on the hydroxychloroquine arm of the study.

SpaceX rocket lifts off on historic private crewed flight
Hurley piloted the space shuttle on the last launch of astronauts from Kennedy, on July 8, 2011. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building on their way to Pad 39-A at Kennedy Space Center.