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COVID-19 Drug Studies Questioned

WEDNESDAY, June 3, 2020 -- Two premiere medical journals are questioning the validity of the data in two studies: one that showed the use of blood pressure drugs was safe in COVID-19 patients and another that showed the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine was dangerous, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

A study published May 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine claimed that certain blood pressure drugs were not raising the risk for death for COVID-19 patients. The journal's editors have now questioned the quality of the data and asked the researchers for more evidence.

The British journal The Lancet has also questioned the validity of data in a study that said the use of malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine was linked to an increased risk for death for COVID-19 patients. The Lancet research caused the World Health Organization to halt an ongoing French hydroxychloroquine study, and France has stopped using the drug in its hospitals.

Both studies now being questioned relied on the same data, which was provided by the Chicago-based company Surgisphere Corp. Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston said the authors of the New England Journal of Medicine paper have started an audit of their data, and data from The Lancet paper will be reevaluated too, the AP reported. Surgisphere said it stands behind the findings of both studies.

AP News Article
Expression of Concern: The Lancet
Expression of Concern: NEJM

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Posted: June 2020