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Important Hydroxychloroquine Benefit News

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) lowered mortality in a study of 2,541 COVID-19 cases in Michigan at the Henry Ford Health System.

The Henry Ford study is reputable (“The Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) in Southeast Michigan: large six hospital integrated health system…” The sample is large (“Consecutive patients hospitalized with a COVID-related admission in the health system from March 10,2020 to May 2,2020 were included.” “2,541 patients”). The study controlled the medications. Several statistical tests were correctly conducted. Cardiac and in-hospital monitoring was an essential feature of the treatment. This was not out-patient treatment.

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) cut mortality significantly. “In this multi-hospital assessment, when controlling for COVID-19 risk factors, treatment with hydroxychloroquine alone and in combination with azithromycin was associated with reduction in COVID-19 associated mortality.”

“In the multivariable Cox regression model of mortality using the group receiving neither hydroxychloroquine or azithromycin as the reference, treatment with hydroxychloroquine alone decreased the mortality hazard ratio by 66% (p < 0.001), and hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin decreased the mortality hazard ratio by 71% (p < 0.001)." The study is located here and a simpler article about it is here.

Politically, Trump was raked over the coals for his personal use of HCQ to prevent getting COVID-19. Bill Barr described the press attacks as a jihad against the drug. That was 3 months ago.

The FDA doesn’t approve of HCQ for this use. It has safety issues with it. See here and here.

My opinion is that the Henry Ford study is much superior to the FDA evaluation that led the FDA to caution against HCQ. The FDA merely collects adverse events. The treatments could be in hospital or not by unknown sources. The FDA doesn’t do a controlled study at all. The adverse events occur across a wide variety of sources. It is not even known how large the population size is over which the database searches are conducted. The conditions under which the HCQ was administered are unknown. Nearly all the adverse events were extracted from one database called FAERS. The FDA itself tells us that this is unreliable:

“FAERS data have limitations. First, there is no certainty that the reported event was actually due to the product. FDA does not require that a causal relationship between a product and event be proven, and reports do not always contain enough detail to properly evaluate an event. Further, FDA does not receive reports for every adverse event or medication error that occurs with a product. Many factors can influence whether or not an event will be reported, such as the time a product has been marketed and publicity about an event. Therefore, FAERS data cannot be used to calculate the incidence of an adverse event or medication error in the U.S. population.”

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8:43 am on July 3, 2020