The scientific journal European Journal of Epidemiology published on the 9th of review of studies on the possible effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in preventing covid-19. The study selected 88 researches, which passed through a filter, leaving 11 works:
- Seven who administered the substance before the person had had the new coronavirus;
- Four where people took hydroxychloroquine after infection.
The selection of these 11 studies included only studies known as the “gold standard” of drug research: randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind. In this type of study, the administration of the drug is random: part of the group receives a placebo (like a flour pill, with no effect), and the other receives the drug under test, but neither the patient nor the researcher knows what is being administered.
The survey with seven studies showed that patients who took the drug before infection had a 28% reduction in the risk of worsening covid-19. The analysis of the four studies reported that the results are practically null.
Among the five authors, two are from Harvard University, one of the most respected in the world. One of them is scientist Xabier Garcia-De-Albeniz, study leader and Research Associate in the University’s Department of Epidemiology. Another is Miguel Hernan, Faculty Member in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology, in addition to being director of CAUSALab, a Harvard entity that aims to guide public policy.
The researchers lamented the lack of more scientific work on the case. “At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a premature conclusion that hydroxychloroquine had no prophylactic effect, when the correct conclusion would be that the estimated effect was very imprecise”, the study reports.
The text cites research on hydroxychloroquine from the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, with small samples, which were contested in relation to the experimental design. At the time, the drug was discredited by the scientific community and by media outlets, who called the drug’s defenders “deniers”. For the study authors, this should not have happened.
Also read: “The solution that won over ideology”, report published in Issue 3 of Revista Oeste