The use of anti-Malaria drugs Covid-19 is controversial. According to a Lancet study, serious side-effects, the WHO was even clinical Tests. However, the study garnered criticism, was withdrawn, the authors themselves have distanced themselves. What’s behind the drug mess.
Trump described it as “one of the biggest breakthroughs in the history of medicine”, as a “gift from God “. The Corona-treatment with the malarial agents chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine made in the past few weeks, Often as not, the headlines. The US President said however, this prophylactic to take to protect themselves from a serious Covid-19-disease.
That the drug can cause Mix of serious side effects such as gastro-intestinal complaints, dizziness or mood swings, read he out of Eight.
The funds will be used for decades for the treatment of Malaria and of autoimmune diseases. In mid-February, Chinese scientists reported the first positive effects at Covid-19-patients. Countries around the world began to treat Covid-19-patients with Cholorquin and hydroxychloroquine. The world health organization (WHO) launched clinical studies. In particular, critically ill patients with pre-existing conditions were administered the funds.
In the first studies they failed but failed miserably, have been able to achieve, either individually or in combination therapy with the antibiotic Azithromycin success. The hope, hydroxychloroquine does not decrease the probability to be connected to a respirator, was fulfilled.
The Lancet study warned of dangerous side-effects of the Malaria drug
But that’s not enough. In the following weeks, the criticism of the means was always sharper. 22. May published by Swiss scientists in the journal “the Lancet”, a study concluded that hydroxychloroquine and the related drug, chloroquine, was not only of no Use at Covid-19-had patients, but may be due to severe side effects and even the risk of death increased.
The publication drew considerable consequences: in Several countries, including France, had then said the treatment of Covid-19-patients with Malaria funds. The German Federal Ministry of health were donated chloroquine tablets in the pharmaceutical industry.
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Not all countries place of treatment with hydroxychloroquine
However, not all countries are supported in their approach to the “Lancet”study. At the end of may about the top biomedical research institution in India, said that studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine “no major side effects” had. Thus, the use of Malaria has been recommended for funding officially in the fight against the pandemic.
Also, the Brazilian head of state, Jair Bolsonaro boasted hydroxychloroquine continued. The Ministry of health in Brasília, recommended that the funds for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, the recommendation also applied to the WHO warnings. “We remain calm, and there is no Change,” said the Ministry representative, Mayra Pinheiro.
To “in Brazil, nurses, Doctors and health experts prophylactically against the Virus”, had supplied the United States last week, two million doses of the Malaria-By to Brazil. The White house said on Sunday. President Trump explained to the taking of the funds now exposed to.
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Criticism of study: medical doctors write open letter
A week later, dozens of researchers from all over the world, expressed in an open letter, they saw the study skeptical. Your in-depth testing would have caused “both concern the methodology as well as the collection of the data,” they said.
In your letter a long list of from the point of view of the signatories, to the problematic points will be given. She criticized, the study’s authors have not kept to the standard practices of machine learning, there have been no Ethics review. Not even the countries or hospitals were mentioned by the authors whose data they had used for their investigation.
The researchers of the Harvard Medical School in Boston and the University hospital Zurich had only to have the data of 96,000 patients in hundreds of hospitals around the world evaluated. Their data were obtained from the US company Surgisphere, which is specialized on the analysis of health data – the access to the raw data was missing, however.
Magazines pull back on the study
The journal itself has distanced itself from the publication. The editor of the “Lancet” published on Tuesday evening on an official warning. This drew the attention of the reader to the fact that “serious scientific questions” concerning the study had been brought to its attention. The “Lancet”-the representative stated that they had instructed the authors of the study, were not associated with Surgisphere, with an examination of the data.
So that the prestigious journal had not withdrawn the study, although – according to experts, the however, it was only a matter of time. For example, the French pharmacologist Gilbert Deray on Twitter, said that he could see, the study is already “on the way to be withdrawn”.
So he should keep right. On Thursday evening, the renowned trade journal announced that it pull the study back. Three of the four authors had referred to the fact that you can’t dispel doubts as to the accuracy of the data they use.
Among the inconsistencies, for example, that the study patients is related to a higher number of in-hospital deceased Covid-19-in Australia as in Australia in fact, overall, were reported. In addition, the authors had claimed to have in the study, data of 4402 patients in Africa are processed according to critics, it is unlikely, however, that the African could ill make houses detailed electronic health records for many patients.
The authors declare self-withdrawal
And that’s not enough. After massive criticism of a study on the effectiveness of Malaria By means of hydroxychloroquine in the case of Coronavirus-infections, three of the four authors have declared their withdrawal from the study. As the sole author of the study, the scientists Sapan Desai, who runs the largely unknown company Surgisphere remained on Thursday, with the study results.
But the Lancet is not the only journal that published a study, which was based on the data from Surgisphere. Only on Wednesday a publication, which compared the effects of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine with placebo, appeared in the equally prestigious “New England Journal of Medicine”. With the note, the study on the way, “many restrictions”, went back to the editor now also.
Pharmacologist-to-moderate studies: “A disaster”
Before the retreat, Gilbert Deray explained the opportunity as “a disaster”, because in spite of the current Situation of scientific publications would need to be tested before the release is sufficient. “The urgency of the pandemic does not justify the mediocre studies,” said Deray. He warned, to associate scientific studies with the media of interest.
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In a further Post, he said: “The recent Lancet Retractions should not make us forget that we still have no evidence for the effectiveness of the treatment with chloroquine / Azithromycin.”
Neurologist: “Bad data are better than no data!”
This was also the opinion of German experts. So, for instance, declared Ulrich Dirnagl, Director of the Institute for Experimental neurology of the Charité: “Unfortunately, this is currently the Motto is: ‘Bad data are better than no data’, where it is, but, on the contrary, be ‘Bad data are not better than no data!’.
This is an excellent example of the damage that the hasty science can cause, the quality standards with the Argument that ‘We have no time to lose’ sets down.” In times of a pandemic, scientists, and journals have attempted to publish under extreme time pressure, was the Review process, the standing under the same pressure of time, even less able to errors and manipulations. In the future, so further investigations will be necessary to prove an actual effect of the Agent.
Drosten: “makes Sense to now ongoing studies to the end”
The Christian Drosten of the NDR Podcast said on Tuesday. The world health organization suspended clinical trials, he is wrong. “Of course, clinical trials must be completed, otherwise it was all a waste of energy,” explains the virologist. “Otherwise, a miss, maybe a little bit of effect. Who knows.“
About the actual effect of the Agent you could say so far nothing, in fact, but the knowledge that chloroquine also has certain anti-inflammatory, so anti-inflammatory, properties. The massive criticism of the international scientists can be understood as a “call to completeness”.
“It’s not like the chloroquine brings a patient to the same total at risk,” said Drosten. “It is useful to now ongoing studies are again consistent to the end, but really with a precise consideration on the upcoming data.”
The world health organisation said on Wednesday that suspended the Tests with hydroxychloroquine at Covid-19-be Diseased resumed.
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