Two studies on the damaging effects of using hydroxychloroquine and widely-used blood pressure medications to treat COVID-19 patients have been thrown into question by their own medical journals.
The Lancet, which published the study on hydroxychloroquine, and The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), which published the study on blood pressure medications, both issued expressions of concern this week over their studies to alert readers that serious scientific questions about their results have emerged.
Additionally, the data from Lancet’s study may have been compromised, according to The Guardian, which reported one of the authors said that a hospital in Asia had been accidentally added to the report, among other discrepancies. (RELATED: With Hydroxychloroquine, A Heavy Dose Of Conspiracy Theory)
The Lancet’s expression of concern indicated that an independent audit is ongoing to determine the data’s validity.
About the paper published in The Lancet: data coming from five different continents cannot be so homogeneous. There is either data manipulation (not mentionned in Material and Methodes), or incorporation of faked data. pic.twitter.com/Oda45XA9B5
— Didier Raoult (@raoult_didier) May 26, 2020
Other studies have also professed similar dangers of hydroxychloroquine’s use for COVID-19 patients, citing potentially serious effects of QT prolongation on patient’s heart rhythms.
The results of the Lancet study were widely touted by the media and by some public officials, after President Donald Trump praised the treatment, and even began taking the medication himself as a precaution.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said data shows hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment for the coronavirus, disputing use of the drug to fight the deadly virus even as President Trump touts it as a potential cure and says he has taken it himself https://t.co/YiNve0Y4rL
— CNN (@CNN) May 28, 2020
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also published a warning about its use in April.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced they would be halting their clinical trials of the drug based on the results.
There have been numerous reports of anecdotal success using hydroxychloroquine despite no major studies confirming its effectiveness. A French physician, Didier Raoult, reported enough success with the drug that French President Emmanuel Macron met with him, Politico reported. France later banned the use of hydroxychloroquine, canceling a decree that permitted doctors to use it for certain patients suffering from the novel coronavirus, according to Reuters.