With 1,360 citations at the time of data extraction, researchers in the field were still referring to the paper “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis” long after it was retracted.
“This has serious implications for the reliability of published research and the academic literature, which need to be addressed," they said.
Scientists Question FindingsOver 100 medical professionals wrote an open letter, raising ten major issues with the paper.
These included the fact that there was “no ethics review” and “unusually small reported variances in baseline variables, interventions and outcomes,” as well as “no mention of the countries or hospitals that contributed to the data source and no acknowledgments to their contributions.”
Other concerns were that the average daily doses of hydroxychloroquine were higher than the FDA-recommended amounts, which would present skewed results.
They also found that the data that was reportedly from Australian patients did not seem to match data from the Australian government.
Eventually, the study led the World Health Organization to temporarily suspend the trial of hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 patients and to the UK regulatory body, MHRA, requesting the temporary pause of recruitment into all hydroxychloroquine trials in the UK.
France also changed its national recommendation of the drug in COVID-19 treatments and halted all trials.