June 9, 2021 ~ TrialSite News ~ by Michael Goodkin
Is there a Problem with the Lopez-Medina, Colombia-based Study Implicating Ivermectin? Major Pharma Companies Including Merck Funding the Trial Site during the Study
Although a great majority of ivermectin-based studies have indicated real promise, one particular study conducted by a small trial site in Colombia received unprecedented media attention when the study results indicated negligible impact. What hasn’t been disclosed by media is the seriously questionable pharmaceutical industry support of this one trial site. During the study, a handful of some of the largest drug companies in the world gave this site money. What’s not clear is why this occurred and whether the funds are correlated to some nefarious agenda. This author suggests that the publisher should have scrutinized this industry funding perhaps more carefully.
On March 4th, 2021, an article appeared in JAMA titled, “Effect of Ivermectin On Time To Resolution of Symptoms Among Adults With Mild COVID.” It concluded, “The findings do not support the use of ivermectin for treatment of mild COVID-19, although larger trials may be needed to understand the effects of ivermectin on other clinically relevant outcomes.”
Dr. Eduardo Lopez-Medina et al. from Cali, Colombia, randomized 400 mildly ill patients, averaging 37 years old, to ivermectin 0.3 mg/kg or placebo. The time to resolution for ivermectin-treated patients was 10 days and placebo patients 12 days, which was not statistically significant.
Much has been written about the methodologic problems of the study but few read to the bottom of the article to see this:
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr. López-Medina reported receiving grants from Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, and Janssen as well as personal fees from Sanofi Pasteur during the conduct of the study. Dr. Oñate reported receiving grants from Janssen and personal fees from Merck Sharp & Dohme and Gilead outside the submitted work. Dr. Torres reported receiving nonfinancial support from Tecnoquímicas unrelated to this project during the conduct of the study. No other disclosures were reported.
Considerable press outlets noted this study, we suspect due to the fact that the ivermectin results were negligible, but none of the media addressed the possibility of conflict with industry.
Absolutely nothing has been written about the fact that the study was sponsored by Centro de Estudios en Infectogía Pediatrica and the authors were paid by 3 drug companies making COVID vaccines–Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, and Janssen– and two making COVID therapeutics–Gilead and Merck.
We have some questions about this. Why did the authors disclose that they were receiving industry sponsor funds during the conduct of the study? Were these funds to actually direct the ivermectin study? That would most certainly be a conflict of interest material.