Hydroxychloroquine, HCQ, for COVID19 treatment: Controversial Coronavirus studies retracted form The Lancet, NEJM journals

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Published: June 5, 2020 6:41 PM

Two Coronavirus related studies that received much criticism have been retracted from the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet journal as the authors were not able to vouch for the accuracy of the data that a private company had provided to them for analysis.

Lancet, HCQ study, hydroxychloroquine, COVID-19 treatment, CSIR, latest news on coronavirus outbreakOne of the two studies included the implications of the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for Coronavirus treatment which gathered much attention.

Two Coronavirus related studies that received much criticism have been retracted from the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet journal as the authors were not able to vouch for the accuracy of the data that a private company had provided to them for analysis, PTI reported. The report said that scientists from Harvard Medical School in the US wanted the paper to be retracted because they were not granted some underlying data for research. Therefore, two studies based on the data from the private company called Surgisphere Corporation were taken out from the journals. One of the two studies included the implications of the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for Coronavirus treatment which gathered much attention.

It was this study published in The Lancet that led to the World Health Organisation (WHO) pause the recruitment of patients for HCQ clinical trials. The report highlighted that two open letters written to editors of these journals last week questioned the validity of this data used in the study as the case reports according to the government data across the world did not match with the data that the researchers had used for the studies. After the questions were raised, the authors “could not furnish” the actual source of their information, and therefore the conclusion could not be trusted.

The authors, according to the report, said that Surgisphere’s client contracts did not allow the private contractor to transfer some data that could violate the company’s agreement with the clients it had. While requesting to retract the studies from the journals, authors also apologised to the journals, the report said.

While the studies have been retracted, the report citing Anurag Agarwal, Director Translational Research in Lung Disease at CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in New Delhi highlighted that the retraction of the study does not mean that the drug HCQ will work (which the study said it has contributed to increase in fatality rates).

Meanwhile, on the incident, Stephen Evans, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK believes that all those working on such research should be able to confirm that the data they are using should approximately match the globally reported numbers. He further said that it has been correct on their part to retract such papers especially in the current circumstances.

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