Source: The Guardian
By Melissa Davey
More than 120 researchers and medical professionals from around the world have written an open letter to the editor of the Lancet raising serious concerns about a large and widely publicised global study that prompted the World Health Organisation to halt several Covid-19 clinical trials.
The study found Covid-19 patients who received the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine were dying at higher rates and experiencing more heart-related complications than other virus patients. The large observational study analysed data from nearly 15,000 patients with Covid-19 who received the drug alone or in combination with antibiotics, comparing this data with 81,000 controls who did not receive the drug.
Questions about the paper’s statistical modelling were also raised by Columbia University in the US, prompting Surgisphere, the company that manages the database of patients used to inform the study, to issue a public statement defending the integrity of the study.
But now further questions have been raised about the Surgisphere database and the study methodology. The signatories to the open letter, directed to the Lancet and the study authors, include prominent sceptics of the value of using hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. The letter lists 10 major concerns about the statistical analysis and data integrity of the study.
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