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Debunking the BBC debunk of ivermectin

Dr. John Campbell

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Published on Oct 09, 2021
Ivermectin: How false science created a Covid 'miracle' drug

BBC Reality Check

But the BBC can reveal there are serious errors in a number of key studies that the drug's promoters rely on.

but thousands of supporters, many of them anti-vaccine activists, have continued to vigorously campaign for its use.

Members of social media groups swap tips on getting hold of the drug, even advocating the versions used for animals

Large pro-ivermectin Facebook groups have turned into forums for people to find advice on where to buy it, including preparations meant for animals.

The BBC can reveal that more than a third of 26 major trials of the drug for use on Covid have serious errors or signs of potential fraud.

The group of independent scientists examined virtually every randomised controlled trial (RCT) on ivermectin and Covid

Social media group

That’s how they all met on Twitter

They've been working together remotely on an informal and voluntary basis during the pandemic.

Reference please

The BBC can reveal that more than a third of 26 major trials of the drug for use on Covid have serious errors or signs of potential fraud.

None of the rest show convincing evidence of ivermectin's effectiveness.

Dr Kyle Sheldrick, one of the group investigating the studies, said they had not found "a single clinical trial" claiming to show that ivermectin prevented Covid deaths that did not contain "either obvious signs of fabrication or errors so critical they invalidate the study".

Out of a total of 26 studies examined, there was evidence in five that the data may have been faked

On top of these flawed trials, there were 14 authors of studies who failed to send data back.

The independent scientists have flagged this as a possible indicator of fraud.

The sample of research papers examined by the independent group also contains some high-quality studies from around the world.

A recent study in Lebanon was found to have blocks of details of 11 patients that had been copied and pasted repeatedly

they have submitted a retraction to the scientific journal which published it

Study from Iran

Another study from Iran seemed to show that ivermectin prevented people dying from Covid.

The records of how much iron was in patients' blood contained numbers in a sequence that was unlikely to come up naturally.

Dr Morteza Niaee, who led the Iran study, defended the results and the methodology and disagreed with problems pointed out to him,

adding that it was "very normal to see such randomisation" when lots of different factors were considered

Ivermectin is generally considered a safe drug, though there have been some reports of side effects.

But indirect harm can come from giving people a false sense of security, especially if they choose ivermectin instead of seeking hospital treatment for Covid, or getting vaccinated in the first place.

Some groups regularly contain posts about conspiracy theories of ivermectin cover-ups, as well as pushing anti-vaccine sentiment or encouraging patients to leave hospital if they aren't getting the drug.

South African nurse dies

Instead of consulting a doctor, she continued with the ivermectin and got home oxygen.

What study are the BBC talking about?

We recommend that meta-analysts who study interventions for COVID-19 should request and personally review IPD (independent patient data) in all cases,

In a similar vein, all clinical trials published on COVID-19 should immediately follow best-practice guidelines and upload anonymised IPD so that this type of analysis can occur.

Kitasato University, based on the judgment that it is necessary to examine the clinical effect of ivermectin to prevent the spread of uncertain COVID-19,

asked Merck & Co., Inc. to conduct clinical trials of ivermectin for COVID-19 in Japan.

This company has priority to submit an application for an expansion of ivermectin’s indications, since the original approval for the manufacture and sale of ivermectin was conferred to it.

However, the company said that it had no intention of conducting clinical trials.