A doctors' tribune denounces Didier Raoult's "wild" trials

In a forum on the website of Le Monde, sixteen learned societies of medicine challenged this Sunday, May 28 the authorities on a lack of sanctions in the face of the "largest known 'wild' therapeutic trial". They denounce the study of Didier Raoult, former boss of the IHU of Marseille, on hydroxychloroquine.

French medical professor Didier Raoult delivers a speech at an international symposium on Covid-19 at the IHU Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases in Marseille, southern France, Wednesday, March 30, 2022. AFP - NICOLAS TUCAT

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In an article published on the website of Le Monde, sixteen companies involved in research criticize teams from the University Hospital Institute (IHU) Méditerranée Infection "the systematic prescription, to patients with Covid-19 of drugs as varied as hydroxychloroquine, zinc, ivermectin or azithromycin, without solid pharmacological bases, and in the absence of any evidence of efficacy".

More seriously, according to them, these prescriptions were continued "for more than a year after the formal demonstration of their ineffectiveness". The authorities must take "measures adapted to the mistakes committed", in the name of "patient safety" and the "criminality of French medical research", they conclude.

Professor Didier Raoult, who had gained media fame by holding positions, now discredited, on Covid-19, including the supposed effectiveness of treatments such as hydroxychloroquine, published in March a "pre-print" (a non-peer-reviewed version) of his study on more than 30,000 Covid patients.

In April, the French Medicines Agency (ANSM) estimated that the use of hydroxychloroquine "exposes patients to potential adverse effects that can be serious". The Marseille prosecutor's office had already opened in July 2022 a judicial investigation, after a scathing report from the ANSM, for "forgery in writing", "use of forgery in writing" and "interventional research involving a human person not justified by his usual care". At this stage, there has been no indictment.

>> Also listen: Vaccination against Covid-19: the excesses of Professor Raoult

All IHU clinical trials suspended

After a damning inspection report on the medical, scientific and managerial excesses of the IHU under the leadership of Didier Raoult, the government had also announced on September 5 to take legal action. On this aspect, the Marseille prosecutor's office is still in the analysis phase.

Questioned on Sunday, May 28 during the Grand Jury RTL-Le Figaro-LCI, the Minister of Health François Braun recalled that his ministry and that of Education and Research had seized the prosecutor on the mode of operation of the IHU of Marseille. "The investigation is ongoing, I will say no more," he said. Asked if the investigation was also about the new "wild" clinical trial, he replied: "Of course."

Retired since the summer of 2021 from his position as university professor-hospital practitioner, Didier Raoult was replaced at the end of August at the head of the IHU Méditerranée by Pierre-Edouard Fournier. Professor Raoult, who comes to the IHU "from time to time", is now professor emeritus and supervises two theses that began before his departure, according to a spokesman for the institution.

Within the IHU, all clinical trials involving humans have been suspended since Professor Fournier's arrival. The institute said it was waiting for a future return from the ANSM on this subject. On the ANSM side, "the next step is the follow-up, and potentially, the lifting of the injunctions made to the IHU, as on clinical trials. The IHU must demonstrate that they have met expectations, "said a spokeswoman for the drug agency, without time horizon.

>> Read also: Covid-19: they have privileged their convictions at the risk of distancing themselves from their loved ones


With AFP)

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