ISAC / Elsevier Statement
Joint ISAC and Elsevier statement on Gautret et al. paper [PMID 32205204]
The use of chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine as a potential prevention or treatment for COVID-19 has been reported anecdotally but there is currently no large-scale data available on its safety and efficacy for this use. The WHO has included chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine as one of four drugs to be evaluated in the SOLIDARITY mega-trial.
The paper entitled “Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial” (Gautret P et al. PMID 32205204) reports a small-scale trial of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
Concerns have been raised regarding the content, the ethical approval of the trial and the process that this paper underwent to be published within International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.
In response, we want to clarify that the journal’s standard peer review process was followed in the publication of this paper. To minimize potential bias, as one of the paper’s authors is the Editor in Chief of the journal, the Editor in Chief was not involved in the peer review of the manuscript, and that following the established standard process, the manuscript's peer-review was delegated to an Associate Editor.
At present, additional independent peer review is ongoing to ascertain whether concerns about the research content of the paper have merit. Given this process of post-publication assessment is on-going, it would be premature to comment at this time. The study authors have been contacted and asked to address the concerns. Depending on the nature of their response, a correction to the scientific record may be considered in accordance with the policies of Elsevier and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE): https://www.elsevier.com/editors/perk/corrections-to-the-record.
Further communications following the completion of this review will be made available.
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