New Delhi: The World Health Organisation (WHO) along with some governments of countries recently changed their COVID-19 treatment policies based on alleged flawed data published by a tiny American healthcare analytics company raising questions on integrity of key studies published on some of the world’s most renowned medical journals.
An investigation by a prestigious international media house revealed that the company, Surgisphere, whose employees include a science fiction writer and the other an adult content model, provided data for multiple studies on SARS-CoV-2 but have completely failed to back its claims and methodologies. The study of the US-based company was spearheaded by its chief executive Sapan Desai.
The healthcare analytics company claimed to have complied its data based on information collected from more than a thousand hospitals around the world and also from scientific articles that changed COVID-19 treatment policies in Latin American countries. Their reports were also the reason behind WHO’s decision to halt trials of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients around the world.
Two of the world’s most reputed medical journals, the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine, published the database reports and findings by Surgisphere.
On being approached by the media outlet investigating the matter, the Lancet released an “expression of concern” about its published study. The New England Journal of Medicine has also issued a similar notice after being alerted by the media house.
An independent audit on the validity of the data published by Surgisphere has now been started by reputed authors due to “concerns that have been raised about the reliability of the database.”