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Home News Submission and Retraction of COVID Data

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Submission and Retraction of COVID Data

posted: June 22, 2020

Written by Dr. Cara East, MD, FAPCR

This month, we watched the evolution of research using big data and artificial intelligence. On May 1, an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients on an ACE inhibitor or an ACE receptor blocker did not have an increased death rate. On May 22, the Lancet published an article finding that the open label, non-blinded use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, with or without a fluoroquinolone, in COVID patients was more likely to lead to death in the hospital and serious arrhythmias. The Lancet study reviewed the records of over 8,000 patients on the drugs and over 80,000 patients not on the drugs. Both studies included an unbelievable amount of data. However, when the data company behind the studies, Surgisphere, led by Dr. Sapan Desai, was asked to release their data for an independent audit, they refused. Both studies have since been officially retracted, and Solidarity, a blinded megatrial sponsored by the WHO that uses hydroxychloroquine, has since been restarted. A third study presented, but not published, by Surgisphere reported on the use of the anti-parasite drug ivermectin in treating COVID, and this drug is now being increasingly used in Latin America. As always, and especially in these times of unprecedented change, the credibility and validity of clinical research must always be reviewed and guarded.


Reference:

Piller C. Who’s to blame? These three scientists are at the heart of the Surgisphere COVID-19 scandal. Science. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/whos-blame-these-three-scientists-are-heart-surgisphere-covid-19-scandal. Published June 8, 2020.