Top medical journals raise concerns about data in two studies related to COVID-19

Just days after more than 180 scientists raised questions about the statistical analysis and a lack of transparency in a hydroxychloroquine study in The Lancet, the researchers say they have "similar issues" with a recent New England Journal of Medicine study about the safety of heart drugs in COVID-19.

Just days after more than 180 scientists raised questions about the statistical analysis and a lack of transparency in a hydroxychloroquine study in The Lancet, the researchers say they have "similar issues" with a recent New England Journal of Medicine study about the safety of heart drugs in COVID-19. The two studies used data from Surgisphere, a Chicago-based company that The Lancet study said had data from more than 600 hospitals on six continents, and they share some of the same authors, including the head of Surgisphere, Sapan Desai. The World Health Organization temporarily halted a study of hydroxychloroquine after The Lancet report came out. On Tuesday, Richard Horton, the editor of that journal, tweeted: "Serious questions have been raised about the reliability of the findings reported in this paper." Also on Tuesday, Eric Rubin, the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, noted similar concerns. "Substantive concerns have been raised about the quality of the information in that database," Rubin wrote in an "expression of concern" published by the journal. "We have asked the authors to provide evidence that the data are reliable."