Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 5
The Lancet today retracted an article that caused the WHO to suspend the hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) arm of its ongoing Covid-19 solidarity trial.
The article “Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of Covid-19: a multinational registry analysis” published online on June 4 concluded that the anti-malarial drug led to higher mortality in infected patients.
The WHO Data Safety Committee found no evidence of HCQ-linked mortality in Covid positive patients, asking the world body to resume trials and leaving The Lancet red-faced.
In its retraction notice regarding the article, The Lancet today said it could no longer vouch for the veracity of primary data used in the research. The journal also apologised.
“After the article, several concerns were raised around the veracity of data and analyses conducted by Surgisphere Corporation and its founder and our co-author, Sapan Desai, in our publication. We launched an independent third party peer review of Surgisphere to evaluate the origination of the database elements and confirm the completeness of the database. Our independent peer reviewers informed us that Surgisphere would not transfer the full data set, client contracts and the full ISO audit report to their servers for analysis as such transfer would violate client agreements and confidentiality requirements. Our reviewers were not able to conduct an independent and private peer review and therefore notified us of their withdrawal from the peer-review process,” The Lancet said, adding that it was withdrawing the article as it could no longer vouch for the veracity of primary data.
The article was authored by Mandeep R Mehra, Frank Ruschitzka and Amit Patel. Mehra is with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart and Vascular Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston. Patel is with the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, US. The Lancet said: “We apologise to the journal readership for any embarrassment or inconvenience.”
Says couldn’t vouch for veracity of data
- The WHO Data Safety Committee found no evidence of HCQ-linked mortality in Covid positive patients, asking the world body to resume trials and leaving The Lancet red-faced.
- In its retraction notice regarding the article, The Lancet said it could no longer vouch for the veracity of primary data used in the research. The journal also apologised.
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