The Lancet has retracted its much-publicised paper on the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19.
The multinational analysis, published in the Lancet on May 22, concluded that there is no benefit but significant safety concerns with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, when used alone or with a macrolide.
Questions have been raised about the study, particularly in relation to the data collected by SurgiSphere, which describes itself as “a real time global healthcare collaborative” and which is owned by one of the authors.
Yesterday (4 June), the Lancet retracted the paper. The announcement follows an attempted independent third-party peer review of the Surgisphere database which was unable to proceed as Surgisphere would not transfer the full dataset, client contracts, and the full ISO audit report, saying such a transfer of data would violate client agreements and confidentiality requirements.
The three other authors requested that the paper be retracted, saying: “We can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has now announced that it will be resuming trials of hydroxychloroquine. The trials were put on hold after the paper first emerged.