Just in case people are starting to wake up and realize there are actually effective drug treatments for Covid, it is important to keep banging the drum that says, not only don’t the drugs work, but they are dangerous, to boot. And so we have a new meta-analysis designed to do just that.
This is very easy to do. Here’s how:
1. Never admit there was anything wrong with the trials that overdosed patients with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine. In fact, these authors called the Recovery and Solidarity trials that gave patients 4 times the normal dose of HCQ at first, “pragmatic.” Odd use of verbiage.
2. Cherry pick a small number of studies from which to perform your meta-analysis, so that the number of subjects in the overdose studies outweighs the number in all the other trials. In this case 67% of all subjects in this meta-analysis (which included about 14 of 233 total trials) had been enrolled in the Recovery and Solidarity overdose trials. Two other overdose studies were included, PATCH and Remap-CAP. (PATCH abruptly ended after only 5 subjects were enrolled, once the other overdose trials were exposed.)
3. Because the overdose studies (except PATCH, in which none of the 5 died) had a higher proportion of deaths in the hydroxychloroquine arms than in the placebo arms, and provided more than two thirds of the subjects for this meta-analysis, the authors of the meta-analysis were able to conclude that using HCQ is associated with higher death rates than using nothing at all.
4. Incredible that the toxic doses used in 4 of the trials selected are whitewashed by calling them “relatively high doses” and never linking these doses to the increased death rates.
5. Another odd thing is that investigators from the included trials, whose data were used in this study, are listed as coauthors. There are 94 coauthors, all of whom signed off on the final paper (i.e., the overdose investigators had the opportunity to craft the language of this paper to cover their butts regarding their overdose trials).
6. Many of these investigators have financial interests in products and/or companies making new products for which hydroxychloroquine would be a cheap competitor.
Here is the new paper.
Mortality outcomes with hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19 from an international collaborative meta-analysis of randomized trials
12, Article number: 2349 (2021) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-22446-z
“Results for hydroxychloroquine are dominated by RECOVERY and WHO SOLIDARITY, two highly pragmatic trials, which employed relatively high doses and included 4716 and 1853 patients, respectively (67% of the total sample size). The combined OR on all-cause mortality for hydroxychloroquine is 1.11 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.20)…”