COVID-19 Drug Studies Questioned

WEDNESDAY, June 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Two premiere medical journals are questioning the validity of the data in two studies: One that said the use of blood pressure drugs was safe; and the other that the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine was dangerous, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

A study published May 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine claimed that certain blood pressure drugs were not raising the risk of death for COVID-19 patients.

The journal's editors have now questioned the quality of the data and asked the researchers for more evidence.

The British journal The Lancet has also questioned the validity of data in a study that said that use of malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine was linked to an increased risk of death for COVID-19 patients.

President Donald Trump has long touted the usefulness of the drugs against COVID-19, even claiming to have recently taken a 2-week course of hydroxychloroquine to help prevent the disease. However, studies conducted so far have shown the medicines to be ineffective and even potentially harmful.

The Lancet research caused the World Health Organization to halt an ongoing French hydroxychloroquine study, and France has stopped using the drug in its hospitals.

However, both studies now being questioned by The Lancet relied on the same data, which was provided by the Chicago-based company Surgisphere Corp, the AP noted.

Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston said the authors of the New England Journal of Medicine paper have started an audit of their data, and data from The Lancet paper would be reevaluated too, the AP reported.

Surgisphere said it stands behind the findings of both studies.

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