Scientists doubt the methodology of the Lancet study on hydroxychloroquine

A hydroxychloroquine pill in a hospital in Porto Alegre in Brazil on May 26, 2020. REUTERS / Diego Vara

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A study on hydroxychloroquine published in the newspaper The Lancet on May 22 concludes that this treatment does not seem to be beneficial for patients with Covid-19, and could even be harmful. But in an open letter published Thursday evening, dozens of scientists from around the world, from Harvard to Imperial College London, expressed concern over the study.


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Doubts related to the methodology, the integrity of the data, the signatories of the letter draw up a long list of points which they consider problematic, and this goes from ethical questions on the collection of patient data to the refusal of the authors to allow access to raw data. They therefore call for an independent analysis of the study's conclusions.

Among the signatories are promoters of hydroxychloroquine such as Professor Philippe Parola, one of the collaborators of Professor Eric Raoult , but also scientists who doubt the benefits of the treatment but who fight for the integrity of the research.

Many researchers are now worried about the impact of this case on science. They express themselves on social media with the hashtag #lancetgate - the Lancet scandal.

If the Lancet article is a fraud ," sums up Professor Gilbert Deray, " it will permanently destroy trust in scientists  ".

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