The Lancet has apologized to readers after retracting a study that said the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine did not help to curb COVID-19 and might cause death in patients. The study was withdrawn because the company that provided data would not provide full access to the information for a third-party peer review.
“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,”
In the study, researchers concluded the drug didn’t help curb COVID-19, caused heart problems, and appeared to increase the risk of death. The study had immediate impact, with the World Health Organization and other groups stopping research into hydroxychloroquine.
But questions about the research methods rose immediately. The Lancet launched a third-party peer review. The reviewers were unable to conduct “an independent and private peer review” and withdrew from the process, The Lancet said.