Studies of RAAS inhibitors, hydroxychloroquine withdrawn for lack of third-party validation

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, research has been on a fast and furious track to understand its impact, as well as potential therapies to combat it, but that speed has resulted in some missteps. On June 4, two major journals, The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine, issued retractions of two recently published studies.

The New England England Journal of Medicine published three side-by-side studies, as previously reported by BreakingMED, on RAAS inhibitors. While the studies all reached the same conclusion that neither ACE-inhibitors nor angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) increase the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and using these agents does not worsen outcomes for those diagnosed with Covid-19, the authors of one of the papers retracted their study.

“Because all the authors were not granted access to the raw data and the raw data could not be made available to a third-party auditor, we are unable to validate the primary data sources underlying our article, ’Cardiovascular Disease, Drug Therapy, and Mortality in Covid-19.’ We therefore request that the article be retracted. We apologize to the editors and to readers of the Journal for the difficulties that this has caused,” the journal reported.

Nonetheless, the two remaining studies do support the conclusion that RAAS inhibition does not increase the risk of a worse outcome with Covid-19.

Similarly, The Lancet retracted a study of hydroxycholoroquine or chloroquine, when used alone or with a macrolide, by Mehra, et al for patients hospitalized with Covid-19, also previously reported by BreakingMED.

The journal stated that “several concerns were raised with respect to the veracity of the data and analyses conducted by Surgisphere Corporation and its founder and our co-author, Sapan Desai, in our publication… 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.”

Candace Hoffmann, Managing Editor, BreakingMED™

Cat ID: 190

Topic ID: 79,190,254,930,791,932,730,933,190,926,192,927,151,928,925,934