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Coronavirus: Influential study on hydroxychloroquine withdrawn

An influential article that found hydroxychloroquine increases the risk of death in coronavirus patients has been retracted over data concerns.

Three of the study’s authors said they could not longer vouch for its veracity because Surgisphere, a healthcare firm behind the data, would not allow an independent review of its dataset.

Its findings led the WHO to suspend its testing on the anti-malaria drug, BBC reported.

But leaders including US President Donald Trump continue to tout its use.

What did the study say?

Research for the article, published last month in medical journal The Lancet, involved 96,000 coronavirus patients across 671 hospitals worldwide. Nearly 15,000 were given hydroxychloroquine – or a related form, chloroquine – either alone or with an antibiotic.

It concluded that the drug showed no benefits against coronavirus and increased the risk patients developing irregular heart rhythms and dying.