Concerns Over Database Quality Raise Questions About 2 Studies Examining Drug Treatments In COVID-19 Patients

AP: Concerns mount about two studies on drugs for coronavirus
“Concerns are mounting about studies in two influential medical journals on drugs used in people with coronavirus, including one that led multiple countries to stop testing a malaria pill. The New England Journal of Medicine issued an ‘expression of concern‘ Tuesday on a study it published May 1 that suggested widely used blood pressure medicines were not raising the risk of death for people with COVID-19. The study relied on a database with health records from hundreds of hospitals around the world. ‘Substantive concerns’ have been raised about the quality of the information, and the journal has asked the authors to provide evidence it’s reliable, the editors wrote. The same database by the Chicago company Surgisphere Corp., was used in an observational study of nearly 100,000 patients published in Lancet that tied the malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to a higher risk of death in hospitalized patients with the virus. Lancet issued a similar expression of concern about its study on Tuesday, saying it was aware ‘important scientific questions’ had been raised…” (Marchione, 6/2).

Additional coverage of the studies is available from The Guardian, The Hill, Reuters, and Science.

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