President Donald Trump has in recent days repeatedly touted the benefits of hydroxychloroquine to treat the novel coronavirus, at one point calling it a “game-changer” in the field of medicine.
But the International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, the publisher of a French study that found taking hydroxychloroquine was associated with the “viral load reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients,” has said the study did not meet an “expected standard.”
“ISAC shares the concerns regarding the above article published recently in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents (IJAA),” the organization, via its president Andreas Voss, said in a statement. “The ISAC Board believes the article does not meet the Society’s expected standard, especially relating to the lack of better explanations of the inclusion criteria and the triage of patients to ensure patient safety.”
“Despite some suggestions online as to the reliability of the article’s peer review process, the process did adhere to the industry’s peer review rules.,” the statement continues. “Given his role as Editor in Chief of this journal, Jean-Marc Rolain had no involvement in the peer review of the manuscript and has no access to information regarding its peer review. Full responsibility for the manuscript’s peer review process was delegated to an Associate Editor.”
The statement concludes that ISAC “recognises it is important to help the scientific community by publishing new data fast, this cannot be at the cost of reducing scientific scrutiny and best practices. Both Editors in Chief of our journals (IJAA and Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance) are in full agreement.”
Both Dr. Kevin Tracey, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in New York, and Art Caplan, head of the division of medical ethics at the New York University School of Medicine, pointed out that several of those who participated in the study did not have their outcomes factored into the study’s final conclusion despite dropping out of the study altogether.
“The study was a complete failure,” Tracey said.
Echoed Caplan, “It was pathetic.”