Concerns mount about two studies on drugs for coronavirus - (ABC News via NewsPoints Desk)

  • The NEJM issued an "expression of concern" Tuesday on a study it published on May 1 that suggested widely used hypertension drugs were not raising the risk of death for patients with COVID-19, as reported by ABC News.

  • The study relied on a database with health records from hundreds of hospitals around the world.

  • However, "substantive concerns" have been raised about the quality of the information, and the journal has asked the authors to provide evidence it is reliable, the editors wrote.

  • The same database by Surgisphere was used in an observational study of nearly 100,000 patients published in The Lancet that linked the malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to a higher risk of death in hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2.

  • The Lancet issued a similar expression of concern about its study on Tuesday, saying it was aware "important scientific questions" that had been raised.

  • Meanwhile, a statement on Surgisphere's site says it stands behind the integrity of its studies, and notes that observational data like what it supplied from electronic health records are not a substitute for rigorous experiments to test a drug.

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