Did British Scientists Jump the Gun On Hydroxychloroquine?

Roger Bate

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The Wall Street Journal published an editorial today detailing worrying flaws in a Lancet medical journal study on hydroxychloroquine. The paper concluded that hydroxychloroquine was ineffective in combating COVID-19 and actually led to a 30 percent increase in mortality while also causing cardiac problems.

But over 120 experts wrote into the Lancet after scrutinizing the data, and claimed the study “raised both methodological and data integrity concerns.”

I was always skeptical that hydroxychoroquine would work against COVID-19, but it was worthwhile doing a thorough evaluation of its efficacy as a coronavirus treatment. But the Lancet has been increasingly hostile to US health care and the private sector. So it’s possible the activists at the Lancet were eager to see President Trump’s claims of hydroxychloroquine efficacy proved invalid — so much so that they failed to review the paper properly. It’s also possible that the paper’s results are in fact accurate, which would vindicate hydroxychoroquine skeptics. More analysis is necessary before coming to a conclusion.

Learn more: Malaria treatments — do they work on COVID-19? | Fake chloroquine products on sale to US patients | COVID-19 and drug quality uncertainty: What to do about it

This article by Roger Bate first appeared in AEIdeas on June 2, 2020.

Image: Reuters.

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