The Lancet had already expressed doubts in recent days. There are now three of the four authors of the controversial paper on the use of hydroxychloroquine against the Covid-19 published in the journal, have requested the retraction of the article, has announced The Lancet on Thursday evening. "We can't vouch for the veracity of the sources of primary data," write the three authors to the Lancet, involving the refusal of the fourth, the boss of the company which collected it, to give access to the database.
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But finally, after many critics questioning the methodology of the study, including the share of scientists who are skeptical of the benefit of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of Covid-19, the WHO announced on Wednesday the resumption of clinical trials with this molecule. The critics were especially concerned that the data on which were based the study (96 000 patients hospitalized between December and April in 671 hospitals, harvested) harvested by the american society Surgisphere, led by the fourth author Sapan Desai.
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" We have initiated an independent analysis of Surgisphere with the agreement of Sapan Desai to assess the origin of the elements of the database, confirm that it was complete and replicate the analyses presented in the article ", write the other three authors in the text published by the Lancet. But Surgisphere refused to transfer the database because of confidentiality agreements with its customers (hospitals in the origin of the data), the experts wanderers " have not been able to conduct an independent review and have informed us of their withdrawal from the process of peer review ", they add.