June 8, 2020

Lancet, NEJM retract COVID-19 treatment studies

Editor's Note

The Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) have both retracted COVID-19 treatment studies because of concerns about the validity of the data and how the research was conducted by Chicago-based Surgisphere Corp, the June 4 Medscape Medical News reports.

Authors of the Lancet study, which was related to the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine to treat COVID-19, asked for an independent third-party review of the analysis, and Surgisphere would not transfer the full dataset, client contacts, and the full ISO audit report for analysis.

Similarly, authors of the NEJM article, which was related to cardiovascular disease and COVID-19, were not granted access to the raw data, and Surgisphere would not make the raw data available to a third-part auditor.

The Lancet article suggested that hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine may cause more harm than benefit in COVID-19 patients, and the NEJM article showed the association of cardiovascular disease, drug therapy, and mortality in COVID-19 patients.

Both journals had already published expression-of-concern notices after an open letter on May 28 from more than 200 scientists, ethicists, and clinicians questioning the data and ethics of the studies.


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