Surgisphere: governments and WHO changed Covid-19 policy based on suspect data from tiny US company | Medical research | The Guardian
The World Health Organization and a number of national governments have changed their Covid-19 policies and treatments on the basis of flawed data from a little-known US healthcare analytics company, also calling into question the integrity of key studies published in some of the world’s most prestigious medical journals.
On Wednesday, the NEJM and the Lancet published an expression of concern about the hydroxychloroquine study, which listed respected cardiologist Mandeep Mehra as the lead author and Desai as co-author.
“The very serious concerns being raised about the validity of the papers by Mehra et al need to be recognised and actioned urgently, and ought to bring about serious reflection on whether the quality of editorial and peer review during the pandemic has been adequate. Scientific publication must above all be rigorous and honest. In an emergency, these values are needed more than ever.”
Mandeep Rajinder Mehra
Professor at Harvard Medical School
Medical Director of Brigham Heart and Vascular Center
As the controversy spiralled, the NEJM joined The Lancet in withdrawing the study. Mehra apologised for rushing to publish during the COVID-19 crisis: "I did not do enough to ensure that the data source was appropriate for this use. For that, and for all the disruptions—both directly and indirectly—I am truly sorry."