Lancet retracts study that linked hydroxychloroquine to increased death risk

New Delhi: The authors of the research linking the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and increased death risk during COVID-19 treatment have retracted The Lancet study they published as they were unable to share the full data set for an independent peer review.

“Several concerns were raised with respect to the veracity of the data and analyses conducted by Surgisphere Corporation and its founder and our co-author, Sapan Desai, in our publication,” the authors of the study wrote in the retraction statement published in The Lancet journal.

When an independent third-party peer review of Surgisphere was initiated with the consent of the co-authors of the study to evaluate the origination of the data set, and to replicate the analyses presented in the paper, the peer reviewers noted that  Surgisphere would not transfer the full data set.

They were also unable to obtain details on client contracts to their servers for analysis since such transfer would violate client agreements with the company and confidentiality requirements.

“Based on this development, we can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources. Due to this unfortunate development, the authors request that the paper be retracted,” the retraction statement noted.

French officials had cited The Lancet study when they imposed a ban on use of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 treatment.

Indian scientists had also cast doubts about the methodology of The Lancet study and opposed the WHO’s move to suspend trials of hydroxychloroquine.