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British Medical Journal Retracts Study That Undermined Hydroxychloroquine Efforts

Steve Warren via CBN News¬†–¬†The British medical journal The Lancet announced Thursday it has retracted a study that claimed that COVID-19 patients who took hydroxychloroquine had a higher mortality rate and increased heart problems compared with those who did not take it, stating that the authors were “unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis.”

Axios reports the study which claimed to have data from 96,000 patients on six continents, led several governments to ban the use of the anti-malarial drug for coronavirus patients due to safety concerns.

The Lancet issued the following retraction:

“Today, three of the authors of the paper, ‘Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis’, have retracted their study. They were unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis. As a result, they have concluded that they ‘can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.’ The Lancet takes issues of scientific integrity extremely seriously, and there are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study. Today, three of the authors of the paper, ‘Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis’, have retracted their study. They were unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis. As a result, they have concluded that they ‘can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.’ The Lancet takes issues of scientific integrity extremely seriously, and there are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study.” — The Lancet

As CBN News reported, last month, The Lancet published the article about the study. But the medical journal later said it had concerns about the data that was used in the highly publicized article on hydroxychloroquine.

Some of those patients were treated with the malaria drug that  President Trump announced he was taking. The president also encouraged others to use it.

Following the article’s publication, several clinical trials were put on hold. The study, which used data provided by the healthcare data analytics firm Surgisphere, was not a traditional clinical trial in which hydroxychloroquine would have been compared to a placebo or other drug. The Lancet’s editors noted that serious questions about the study were raised, and an independent audit about the data has already been assigned, according to Reuters.

Almost 150 doctors signed an open letter to The Lancet last week, calling the article’s conclusions into question and asking to make public the peer-review comments that preceded its publication.

“This is not some sideshow or minor issue,” said Dr. Walid Gellad, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s medical school. “We’re in an unprecedented pandemic. We’ve organized these enormous clinical trials to figure out if something works. And this study stopped or paused a couple of those trials, and changed the narrative around a drug that no one knows if it works or not.”

Reuters also reported the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) said it was concerned about the quality of the data behind a different study published in May that also used data from Surgisphere and had the same lead author.

As CBN News has reported, several former COVID-19 patients, including pastors, a lawmaker, and several celebrities have said the drug proved effective in their treatment. In April, Pastor A.R. Bernard of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, NY, revealed his harrowing bout with COVID-19 and how the drug cocktail with hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin saved his life.

Also in April, Michigan Democratic state Rep. Karen Whitsett personally met and thanked Trump for clearing the way for doctors to prescribe hydroxychloroquine, a treatment she says led to her recovery.

“It actually saved my life within a couple of hours – made all the difference in the world,” Whitsett said.

Pastor Don Wilkerson, the co-founder of Teen Challenge and the brother of the late David Wilkerson from The Cross and the Switchblade fame, told CBN News his doctor prescribed hydroxychloroquine. Wilkerson says he remembers waking up the next morning significantly better.

Actress Rita Wilson also said her fever broke after she took hydroxychloroquine. Wilson and her husband, actor Tom Hanks, were two of the first celebrities to reveal they both had come down with COVID-19 while working on a movie project in Australia.

Actor Daniel Dae Kim who’s known for his roles on “Lost” and “Hawaii 5-0” claimed hydroxychloroquine was the “secret weapon” that helped in his recovery from the disease.

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