June 8, 2020

Lancet, NEJM retract COVID-19 treatment studies

By: Judy Mathias
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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.


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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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