Two U.K. Hydroxychloroquine Studies Attract Criticism


The Lancet study has already been retracted.

The Lancet was forced to “retract” one of its studies on hydroxychloroquine. The study, Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of Covid-19’, was released on Friday, May 22nd, 2020 with an accompanying “Commentary” and BBC Radio coverage of the study. “Today” announcing that it was now clear that any hope for these anti-malaria drugs was baseless. The following Monday the World Health Organization (WHO) suspended its clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine and asked other countries to do the same.

However, many internet sleuths began looking at the data from the study and an open letter from 200 medical experts demanded an independent investigation of the Lancet study. The Lancet authors initially issued a slight “correction” to the study, but did not change the study’s conclusions – that hydroxychloroquine was ineffective in treating COVID-19 patients and actually “increased the death rate.”

The Lancet did retract the study and as Edmund Fordham, Britsh author writes “the paper was exposed as based on data unverifiable at best, or outright fabricated.” The retraction occurred in early June 2020. One American doctor, Dr. Marc Siegel, called the Lancet report “a political hit job.”

Oxford’s RECOVERY trials.

The next Friday, Oxford announced that their RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY) clinical trials were being terminated because they showed that hydroxychloroquine was not good for COVID-19, at least for hospitalized patients and that they found no significant difference between treated and untreated patients.

Professor Martin Landray, professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Oxford and the deputy chief investigator of the RECOVERY trial was interviewed by France Soir. The results of that interview are again causing many to question the protocols of the study.

For example, Soir asks Landray what the U.K.’s maximum does is for hydroxychloroquine and Landray responds that he is not sure, but that he “believed it would be much larger, say six to ten times the trial’s dose.” As Soir reports, NICE states that the maximum dose for hydroxychloroquine is about “490 mg per day for a 75kg adult.” In France 1800 mg in a day “mandates hospitalization as a poisoning.” The day one dose utilized in the RECOVERY trials was 2,400 mg! So Landray stating that he believed the dose utilized in the RECOVERY trials were safe and could be six to ten times more does not appear to be based on facts.

Professor Didier Raoult, Director of the University Hospital in Marseille, described the mortality rates noted in the RECOVERY hydroxychloroquine trials as “appalling.” Raoult published his hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin dual therapy in early March “and has since used it in well over 3,000 patients with 18 deaths – about 0.5 percent.” The mortality rates in the RECOVERY trials were approximately 25%.

Raoult emphasized that early treatment is key though. Raoult also said that the RECOVERY trials was “the Marx Brothers doing science.” Raoult was interviewed by and said that “the common points between the people doing science and those doing medicine have completely disappeared.”

Professor Raoult addressed the dosage issue noting that “he utilizes 600 mg per day, which is a dose typically used by rheumatologists.”

The FDA has now recalled the emergency use approval of the drug for COVID-19 patients. Doctors can continue to use hydroxychloroquine if they believe it will benefit their patients, as all FDA regulated medicine can be utilized for “off label” use. It is unclear how the FDA’s announcement might affect the availability of the drug.