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Countries that use Hydroxychloroquine may have 80% lower Covid death rates

Posted By Jo Nova On August 8, 2020 @ 4:10 am In Microbiology,Mortality | Comments Disabled

The  scandal from the Swamp: Too rich to get a cheap drug?

Poor countries all over the world are using Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and it appears to be very useful.

The new HCQTrial suggests that despite the billion dollar budgets and expert staff, people in wealthier countries are dying from Coronavirus at far higher rates than people are in lands where HCQ is being used. And the effect of HCQ apparently holds even after researchers correct for patients being older, heavier, with higher blood pressure, living in high density apartment towers, or with getting tested more.

If word ever gets out that the Politico-Academic-Corporate-Swamp buried useful drugs because they were unprofitable and out of patent, there will be hell to pay.

The HCQTrial was done anonymously by @CovidAnalysis – who say they are PhD researchers, scientists.

You can find our research in journals like Science and Nature. For examples of why we can’t be more specific search for “raoult death threats” or “simone gold fired”. We have little interest in adding to our publication lists, being in the news, or being on TV (we have done all of these things before but feel there are more important things in life now).

It’s a mark of the times when people do a lot of work but don’t want credit. They just want to get the answers out there. When the main tool of public argument is ad hominem, this is sometimes how it has to be.

Hydroxychloroquine use, country by country, graph. Death rate. Mortality.

Hydroxychloroquine use, country by country, graph. Death rate. Mortality.

It’s not often a trial announces they put 2 billion people into the treatment group. But they literally included the world, then found 5 billion exceptions — some nations chopped and changed drug policy, some took up masks, and others isolated too soon to get really sick (New Zealand and Australia).  They were all ruled out. Some countries were too young or too small to be included. So they found nations that either did or didn’t use HCQ and stuck with the policy and followed them through to see what happened.

The raw data shows mortality rates are 87% lower, but when adjusted for confounders (like the age of the population) the mortality rates were only 79% lower. “Only”.

The low death nations include Cuba, India, Turkey, Indonesia, Algeria, Greece, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Russia, Morocco and Israel. Not all of which are poor.

The list itself may be a shock — for people in the West to find out that so many countries are using it.

Hydroxychloroquine is a 60 year old drug used by millions of people around the world. The wholesale cost is about $5US for a whole month of treatment in Africa. In the US HCQ (Hydroxycholoroquine) was approved in 1955, and there are about 5 million prescriptions for it every year for things like Malaria, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. About 15 years ago it was shown to work against SARS the close-cousin to Covid-19-WuFlu. It’s one of the most prescribed drugs in the world and people sometimes take it for years.  The side effects and risks are well known, and doctors already know who shouldn’t take it. The “dangerous” drug is mainly dangerous to Corporate profits. It threatens Big Pharma which has taken some breathtaking punts on new drugs and new vaccines.

Take the 80% figure with some skepticism. Country by country comparisons are the lowest grade of medical studies — hunting for answers under a hill of confounding factors — but this is a well thought out, respectable study. It isn’t a prospective placebo controlled trial, and other factors may be influencing this result– like levels of sunlight or Vitamin D status (which isn’t mentioned). Genetics may also confound the results — things like blood groups, ACE2 expression, immune factors, past infections — all these things may affect wealthy Western nations differently.  As far as Vitamin D goes, cold Russia is in the low death camp, along with sunny Cuba — suggesting that there is no simple “high sunlight” rule.

A month ago the Ford study suggested HCQ might have reduced mortality by 50%.

South Korea has been recommending we use this drug since February 13th. Curiously, they were ruled out of this study, by the way, because they took up wearing masks too quickly, which the authors said reduced both infections and mortality.

Why is the West banning this drug?

There may be a good reason, but why isn’t the question the top priority in the highest corridors of politics? If we don’t have enough HCQ, then isn’t it time to discuss a plan to manufacture it ourselves? Shouldn’t we give our health care workers the option to use it?

The biggest treatment group in the world:

 2.0 billion people were assigned to the treatment group, and 663 million to the control group. As of August 6, 2020, an average of 38.5/million in the treatment group have died, and 440.2/million in the control group, relative risk 0.087. After adjustments, treatment and control deaths become 79.6/million and 630.0/million, relative risk 0.13.

The adjusted data (graphed below), which is also modeled out for 90 days, is where the 80% lower mortality rate is estimated from.

Hydroxychloroquine use, country by country, graph. Death rate. Mortality.

Hydroxychloroquine use, country by country, adjusted for demographic factors and extended out for 90 days.

People, like Sydney Morning Herald writers are being willingly fooled by badly done studies which start the drug too late when patients are already in a severe state and use it without the cofactors — zinc and an antibiotic. Some studies are so badly designed, it’s almost like they were not meant to succeed.

ABSTRACT

Many countries either adopted or declined early treatment with HCQ, forming a large country-randomized controlled trial. 2.0 billion people were assigned to the treatment group, and 663 million to the control group. As of August 6, 2020, an average of 38.5/million in the treatment group have died, and 440.2/million in the control group, relative risk 0.087. After adjustments, treatment and control deaths become 79.6/million and 630.0/million, relative risk 0.13. Confounding factors affect this estimate, including varying degrees of spread between countries. Accounting for predicted changes in spread, we estimate a relative risk of 0.21. The treatment group has 79.1% lower chance of death. We examined diabetes, obesity, hypertension, life expectancy, population density, urbanization, testing level, and intervention level, which do not account for the effect observed.

The final word from the FAQ:

Why should we trust @CovidAnalysis?
There is no need to. We provide organization and analysis, but all sources are public and you can easily verify everything. For the country-based analysis, all data is public and the analysis is simple to replicate. We also note that many equally qualified experts report contradictory conclusions. If you don’t like our analysis, you can use our database to locate information you may have missed for your own research.

h/t Dave B.

REFERENCE

Early treatment with hydroxychloroquine: a country-randomized controlled trial, Covid Analysis, August 5, 2020

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