It seems the debate over the effectiveness of this drug isn’t over yet. The Henry Ford Health System based in Detroit, Michigan has produced a retrospective observational study which found hydroxychloroquine was effective in reducing the death rate of patients who received it.
The study analyzed 2,541 patients hospitalized among the system’s six hospitals between March 10 and May 2 and found 13% of those treated with hydroxychloroquine died while 26% of those who did not receive the drug died…
“As doctors and scientists, we look to the data for insight,” said Steven Kalkanis, CEO of the Henry Ford Medical Group. “And the data here is clear that there was a benefit to using the drug as a treatment for sick, hospitalized patients.”
The study, published in the International Society of Infectious Disease, found patients did not suffer heart-related side effects from the drug.
Cutting the death rate in half is a pretty dramatic result. The catch here is that this was not a double-blind, randomized study in which patients were assigned to various treatment groups and then treated without doctors knowing who is in each group. Instead, this is a retroactive look at treatment received by people who entered the hospital system over a period of time. And since treatment groups weren’t assigned, that means it’s possible some of the people who did not receive the drug were judged by doctors to be too ill to make it beneficial. Obviously if the sickest patients tend to wind up in the ‘no treatment’ group it’s very likely their death rate is going to be higher.