Something weird re Lancet:
On its face, it was a major finding: Antimalarial drugs touted by the White House as possible COVID-19 treatments looked to be not just ineffective, but downright deadly. A study published on 22 May in The Lancet used hospital records procured by a little-known data analytics company called Surgisphere to conclude that coronavirus patients taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine were more likely to show an irregular heart rhythm—a known side effect thought to be rare—and were more likely to die in the hospital.
Within days, some large randomized trials of the drugs—the type that might prove or disprove the retrospective study’s analysis—screeched to a halt. Solidarity, the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) megatrial of potential COVID-19 treatments, paused recruitment into its hydroxychloroquine arm, for example. (Update: At a briefing on 3 June WHO announced it would resume that arm of the study.)
But just as quickly, the Lancet results have begun to unravel—and Surgisphere, which provided patient data for two other high-profile COVID-19 papers, has come under withering online scrutiny from researchers and amateur sleuths. They have pointed out many red flags in the Lancet paper, including the astonishing number of patients involved and details about their demographics and prescribed dosing that seem implausible.Kelly Servick, Martin Enserink, “A mysterious company’s coronavirus papers in top medical journals may be unraveling” at Science
Read on at Science. Gets crazier.
We’ve been hearing complaints about Lancet and other journals for years. For example: A Woke medical journal’s war on having kids
Trust but verify. “Science” is a discipline, not an incantation.
All but one of the authors retracted the paper:
An influential article that found hydroxychloroquine increases the risk of death in coronavirus patients has been retracted over data concerns.
Three of the study’s authors said they could not longer vouch for its veracity because Surgisphere, a healthcare firm behind the data, would not allow an independent review of its dataset.
Its findings led the WHO to suspend its testing on the anti-malaria drug.
But leaders including US President Donald Trump continue to tout its use.Health, “Coronavirus: Influential study on hydroxychloroquine withdrawn” at BBC