Why Politics and Healthcare should not mix. Study on HCQ retracted from Lancet. We still do not know if it works or not?



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Peer Review as found a study with data supplied by a company, Surgisphere, on the malaria drug hydrochloroquine (HCQ) were retracted by The Lancet. New England Journal of Medicine retracted another study by similar researchers with data also supplied by Surgisphere on blood pressure and Covid. The data for these studies maybe falsified.

Peer Review is a process after publication in a major Research Journal which reviews the data and study mechanics . It looks to verify the accuracy of the study. Later, peers attempt to replicate the results of the study. Peer reviews doubted the large numbers vs the speed of the article. Hospitals which supplied data said they never were contacted and/or never heard of this company. Surgishere refused to share the full data set with peer review. Surgishere claimed it reviewed the records of 100 million patients from 1200 hospitals.

The study in the Lancet claimed the malaria drugs had no benefit and increased the risk of heart problems and death. The last statement caught my attention when I first heard about this on the radio news. Politically, HCQ is claimed to kill people suddenly from heart problems. This claim is because President Trump used HCQ as an example for the FDA to loosen up their rules for experimental treatments during this crisis.

Fact is HCQ is used long term to treat arthritis by patients who can not tolerate newer therapies. Also short term for malaria prevention and also by lupus patients. It works safely for theses patients. FDA says caution is needed because it can cause eye damage or heart problems. The Physician is to monitor both issues. An eye exam is recommended before the start of therapy and every 5 years if no risk factor present and every year with a risk factor.

Patients with heart issues especially electrical problems are not a good candidate to start this medicine. All patients should have ECQ yearly to look for changes in the heart. This medication causes heart problems, it does not induce sudden heart attacks. This risk is extremely low which is why the FDA recommends monitoring and has not removed the medication.

But the hate of President Trump has caused politics to mix with Health. HCQ potential as a Covid-19 treatment was never great. It stops replication which makes it potentially better in prevention then treatment of severely ill patients. But the most important part of HCQ is that it is used in arthritis with “patients who can not tolerate newer therapies”. But we need accurate data to evaluate this and all other therapies outside of political motives.

Will the media report the retraction?


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Mike Bodnar
Mike Bodnar
Admin of Ed: Barberton 1972. Ohio Northern University 1977 BS in Pharmacy. Retired Pharmacist. Grew up on the Northend and Crissman Park. I love Barberton and always will.

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