The Lancet doubts over hydroxychloroquine study see WHO restart trials

The WHO announced Wednesday the resumption of its hydroxychloroquine trials after The Lancet cast doubt over a large-scale study it published last month that led to temporary suspension of testing of the drug.

The medical journal has issued an “expression of concern” over a large-scale study of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine that led to the World Health Organization to pause clinical trials of the former as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

The WHO said hydroxychloroquine trials would restart after a safety review found there was no reason to modify the trial.

The Lancet acknowledged “important” questions over the research into the anti-viral drugs, after dozens of scientists issued an open letter raising concerns about its methodology and the underlying data, which was provided by the US-based firm Surgisphere.

“Although an independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere and is ongoing, with results expected very shortly, we are issuing an Expression of Concern to alert readers to the fact that serious scientific questions have been brought to our attention,” The Lancet said Tuesday.

While an expression of concern is not as severe as a journal withdrawing a published study, it signifies that the research is potentially problematic.


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