Pr. Raoult in Marseille. - Daniel Cole / AP / SIPA
The controversial Professor Raoult has published a new study on a chloroquine derivative, which he says confirms the "effectiveness" of this treatment against the coronavirus, but this assertion is disputed by many scientists. This study, published online Friday evening but not yet in a scientific journal, covers 80 patients, 80% of whom have experienced a "favorable development", according to the French scientist and his team. It succeeds a previous one which dealt with around twenty patients and had already been the subject of criticism on the methodology used.
"We confirm the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine (derivative of chloroquine, a drug against malaria, editor's note) associated with azithromycin (an antibiotic, editor's note) in the treatment of Covid-19", write Didier Raoult and his team at the conclusion of the new study. But many scientists argued on Saturday that it was impossible to draw this conclusion on the basis of this study alone, because of the way it is drawn up.
Their main criticism: the study does not include a control group (or control group, that is to say patients to whom the treatment studied is not administered), and it is therefore impossible to establish a comparison to determine if it is the treatment that is causing the improvement. "No, it's not huge, I'm afraid of it," tweeted Professor François Balloux, of University College London, in response to an enthusiastic tweet which described the conclusions of the report as "enormous". 'study.
This is a study without a control group "which follows 80 patients with fairly mild symptoms. The majority of patients recover from Covid-19, with or without treatment with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, ”he said, along with many other scientists on social media. "It is a safe bet that this new study convinces only the convinced," said Heidi.news, a Swiss online media specializing in science, delivering a critical analysis of the study.
Professor Raoult is at the center of a global debate on the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to fight the coronavirus. Some doctors, some countries and elected officials call for the widespread administration of hydroxychloroquine, described as "heavenly donation" by US President Donald Trump. But a large part of the scientific community and health organizations are calling for a rigorous scientific validation, warning of the possible risks.
A group of OM supporters deploys a banner in support of Didier Raoult in front of the IHU
Is Professor Didier Raoult's book already out of date?
- Covid 19
- Didier raoult