Hydroxychloroquine study by Detroit's Henry Ford Health may have been flawed

July 08, 2020, 10:27 AM

Last week, Henry Ford Health System released study findings suggesting the political hot potato that is the drug hydroxychloroquine cut the death rate in Covid-infected patients.

President Trump did a victory lap, tweeting: "The highly respected Henry Ford Health System just reported, based on a large sampling, that HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE cut the death rate in certain sick patients very significantly. The Dems disparaged it for political reasons (me!). Disgraceful. Act now @US_FDA @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews"

But as Metro Times and others have reported, the study could be flawed:

... the study that Henry Ford publicized last week ... was not randomized and double-blind, meaning that Henry Ford's doctors carefully selected who they gave the drugs to, causing some scientists to warn that it could have skewed the results.

Some of the patients in the study were also treated with a steroid called dexamethasone, which could have additionally impacted the findings. And Henry Ford excluded patients who had not yet been discharged from the hospital from its report — 10% of the study's subjects — which could have skewed the results further.

"There's a little bit of loosey-goosiness here in all this," Eli Rosenberg, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University at Albany School of Public Health, told CNN of the Henry Ford study.

Henry Ford CEO Steven Kalkanis admitted the matter was far from settled in a press conference.

"It's important to note that in the right settings, this potentially could be a lifesaver for patients," he said. "Much more work needs to be done to elucidate what the final treatment plan should be for COVID-19."

The health system is running a separate randomized and double-blind study into the drug's effects. That's due to wrap up later this summer.

Read more:  Metro Times

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