At a press conference on Wednesday, the WHO announced it would resume its global trial of #hydroxychloroquine, after its data safety monitoring committee found there was NO INCREASED risk of death for Covid patients taking it.https://t.co/jHUxVRtdOt
— Oh boy what a shot (@ohboywhatashot) June 3, 2020
Medical journal The Lancet on May 29 issued a correction to a recent study which found that antimalarial drugs Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were linked with an increased risk of mortality in hospitals, and an increased frequency of irregular heart rhythms.
The study, titled, “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis,” and published on May 22, included records of 96,032 patients from 671 hospitals in six continents. The patients were hospitalized between Dec. 20, 2019, and April 14, 2020.
Patients receiving the anti-malarials were put in four different groups: chloroquine alone, chloroquine with a macrolide, hydroxychloroquine alone, or hydroxychloroquine with a macrolide. Patients who received none of the treatments formed a control group. Researchers found the 14,888 patients in the treatment group suffered higher mortality when compared to the control group of over 80,000.
“We were unable to confirm a benefit of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, when used alone or with a macrolide, on in-hospital outcomes for COVID-19,” the researchers wrote.
However, more than a hundred scientists and medical professionals raised questions about integrity of data analyzed in the study and subsequently wrote an open letter to its authors and the editor of The Lancet, listing 10 major concerns.
These included the fact that there was “no ethics review,” and “unusually small reported variances in baseline variables, interventions and outcomes,” as well as “no mention of the countries or hospitals that contributed to the data source and no acknowledgments to their contributions.” A request to the authors for information on the contributing centers was denied, the letter said.
Among the scientists other concerns were that the average daily doses of hydroxychloroquine were higher than the FDA-recommended amounts and that data reportedly from Australian patients did not seem to match data from the Australian government.