Three authors of the paper, “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis”, have retracted their study that was published in The Lancet on May 22.
According to the retraction notice that was published today in The Lancet, they were unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis. As a result, they have concluded that they “can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources..”
The Lancet takes issues of scientific integrity extremely seriously, and there are many outstanding questions about Surgisphere and the data that were allegedly included in this study, the statement added.
After publication of the study, several concerns were raised with respect to the veracity of the data and analyses conducted by Surgisphere Corporation and its founder Sapan Desai.
“We launched an independent third-party peer review of Surgisphere with the consent of Sapan Desai to evaluate the origination of the database elements, to confirm the completeness of the database, and to replicate the analyses presented in the paper.
Our independent peer reviewers informed us that Surgisphere would not transfer the full dataset, client contracts, and the full ISO audit report to their servers for analysis as such transfer would violate client agreements and confidentiality requirements. As such, our reviewers were not able to conduct an independent and private peer review and therefore notified us of their withdrawal from the peer-review process,” authors of the study Mandeep R Mehra, Frank Ruschitzka, Amit N Patel have said in the statement.
”We always aspire to perform our research in accordance with the highest ethical and professional guidelines. We can never forget the responsibility we have as researchers to scrupulously ensure that we rely on data sources that adhere to our high standards. Based on this development, we can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources. Due to this unfortunate development, the authors requested that the paper be retracted, ”authors of the study said
They added that they had entered this collaboration to contribute in good faith and at a time of great need during the COVID-19 pandemic and have apologised to the editors, and the journal readership for any embarrassment or inconvenience that this may have caused.
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