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Lancet retracts covid-19 HCQ study flagging risks on data integrity concerns

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The Lancet Journal late on Thursday retracted the controversial study on hydroxychloroquine which said the repurposed anti-malaria drug increased the risk of mortality in covid-19 patients as the company that collated the data, Surgisphere, did not cooperate with the review.

“Our independent peer reviewers informed us that Surgisphere would not transfer the full dataset, client contracts, and the full ISO audit report to their servers for analysis as such transfer would violate client agreements and confidentiality requirements. As such, our reviewers were not able to conduct an independent and private peer review and therefore notified us of their withdrawal from the peer-review process after severe criticism for the quality of its data,” The Lancet said in its retraction statement.

The study, published last month, faced severe criticism after it was revealed that there were discrepancies in the data, most prominent of which was about deaths in hospitals in Australia being higher than the reported government numbers and another dataset from a hospital in Asia being accounted for in the Australasian region.

The Lancet had earlier this week issued an ‘expression of concern’ about an observational study that showed risk from the anti-malaria drug in treating covid-19 patients.

The study was the reason the World Health Organization (WHO) last week halted the hydroxychloroquine arm of the Solidarity Trial.

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