A new study came out last night in the Lancet which is being used to call for the end of doctors using Choloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid patients without them being enrolled in a clinical trial. Some of the claims about “no chance of any benefit” seem a bit premature given the limits of this kind of study:
Superficially, it looks large and comprehensive but there are three obvious problems with it –
1. It ignores zinc entirely. There is not even a mention of the essential mineral, despite Chloroquine being a well known zinc ionophone (something that pumps a mineral across a cell membrane) and intracellular zinc being identified as a useful anti-viral.
2. It’s not randomized. If doctors are prescribing these drugs to sicker patients or patients with a certain (unknown) genetic risk factor that selection bias (there we go again) could neutralize the entire result. We just don’t know.
3. These were sick people. The total mortality in this whole group was almost 12%. This trial tells us nothing about using these drugs as preventative measures in mild or moderate cases. It doesn’t tell us whether people had symptoms for […]
May 23, 2020 at 12:20PM