Medical journal concerned about validity of influential hydroxychloroquine study
By Michael Erman NEW YORK (Reuters) - British medical journal the Lancet on Tuesday said it had concerns about data behind an influential article that found hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in COVID-19 patients, a conclusion that undercut scientific interest in the medicine championed by U.S. President Donald Trump
By Michael Erman
NEW YORK (Reuters) - British medical journal the Lancet on Tuesday said it had concerns about data behind an influential article that found hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in COVID-19 patients, a conclusion that undercut scientific interest in the medicine championed by U.S. President Donald Trump.
The observational study published on May 22 looked at some 96,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients treated with the decades-old malaria drug that Trump said he took and has urged others to use.
Several clinical trials were put on hold after the study was published.
The study, using data provided by healthcare data analytics firm Surgisphere, was not a traditional clinical trial that would have compared hydroxychloroquine to a placebo or other medicine.
The Lancet last week issued a correction to the study regarding the location of some patients following criticism of its methodology, but said the conclusions were not changed.
Also last week, nearly 150 doctors signed an open letter to the journal calling the article's conclusions into question and asking to make public the peer review comments that led to it being published.
"This is not some sideshow or minor issue," said Dr. Walid Gellad, a professor at University of Pittsburgh's medical school, who was not a signatory of the letter but has been critical of the study.
"We're in an unprecedented pandemic. We've organized these enormous clinical trials to figure out if something works. And this study stopped or paused a couple of those trials, and changed the narrative around a drug that no one knows if it works or not," he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) suspended hydroxychloroquine's use in a large trial on COVID-19 patients after The Lancet study. Following the WHO trial suspension, the governments of France, Italy and Belgium halted the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 patients.
(Reporting by Michael Erman, Editing by Richard Chang and Bill Berkrot)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.