"There has never been a therapeutic trial." The controversial professor Didier Raoult defended himself on Tuesday, after the warning of several learned societies of medicine castigating the study of the former boss of the IHU of Marseille on hydroxychloroquine. "All this is only an observational study", as other medical structures have been able to conduct during the Covid-19 pandemic, he assured the microphone of BFMTV.
"The data is available and comprehensive. There is everything in it: all the patients who have been treated at the IHU for two years, all their treatments. (...) The data is certified and it will be used for history," he continued. Routine prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine have been prescribed in numbers, he acknowledged. But these pre-filled orders responded to an organizational imperative, he defended himself.
"It's been an absolutely huge challenge"
"You have no idea what it's like to get 200,000 people to test and treat 34,000. (...) Most things were pre-prepared so that we could manage 100 people in the hospital day by day. It's been an absolutely huge challenge."
Controversial clinical trials against tuberculosis: Didier Raoult says he has "seized justice" pic.twitter.com/XqccbbE0MC
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) May 30, 2023
On Sunday, sixteen learned societies of medicine challenged the authorities in a forum published in Le Monde on a lack of sanctions in the face of the "largest known wild therapeutic trial", denouncing the study of Didier Raoult, former boss of the IHU of Marseille, on hydroxychloroquine.
These companies accuse teams from the University Hospital Institute (IHU) Méditerranée Infection "of the systematic prescription, to patients with Covid-19 (...) medicinal products as varied as hydroxychloroquine, zinc, ivermectin or azithromycin (...) without a solid pharmacological basis, and in the absence of any evidence of efficacy". This trial would have taken place between 2020 and 2021.
Potentially "serious" side effects
More seriously, according to them, these prescriptions were continued "for more than a year after the formal demonstration of their ineffectiveness". The authorities must take "measures adapted to the mistakes committed", in the name of "patient safety" and the "credibility of French medical research", they conclude. Professor Didier Raoult, who had gained media fame by holding positions, now discredited, on Covid-19, published in March a "pre-print", that is to say a non-peer-reviewed version, of his study on more than 30,000 Covid patients.
" READ ALSO What risks Didier Raoult, pinned by doctors for a therapeutic trial "wild"?
In April, the Medicines Agency (ANSM) had estimated that the use of this drug "exposes patients to potential adverse effects that can be serious". The Marseille prosecutor's office had opened in July 2022 a judicial investigation, after a scathing report from the ANSM, for "forgery in writing", "use of forgery in writing" and "interventional research involving a human person not justified by his usual care".