Hydroxychloroquine/Chloroquine COVID-19 Study Retracted

Jun 5, 2020 | COVID-19

On June 4, 2020, The Lancet posted a retraction request for an article reporting on a multinational registry analysis of the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19.

In the article, which was published online on May 22, 2020, the authors reported that they “were unable to confirm a benefit of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, when used alone or with a macrolide, on in-hospital outcomes for COVID-19. Each of these drug regimens was associated with decreased in-hospital survival and an increased frequency of ventricular arrhythmias when used for treatment of COVID-19.”

After publication of the article, several concerns were raised with respect to the veracity of the data and analyses conducted by Surgisphere Corporation. The Surgisphere registry is an aggregation of the deidentified electronic health records (EHRs). The authors launched an independent third-party peer review to evaluate the origination of the database elements, to confirm the completeness of the database, and to replicate the analyses presented in the article.

The independent peer reviewers informed the authors that Surgisphere would not transfer the full dataset, client contracts, and the full audit report for analysis, as such transfer would violate client agreements and confidentiality requirements. As such, reviewers were not able to conduct an independent and private peer review. Since the authors can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources, a retraction of the publication was requested.

A Hayes Emerging Technology Report on chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 is available here.

Mehra MR, Ruschitzka F, Patel AN. Retraction—Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis. The Lancet, June 4, 2020. Available at: click here. Accessed June 5, 2020

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