The Elgazzar study was one of the the largest and most promising showing the drug may help Covid patients, and has often been cited by proponents of the drug as evidence of its effectiveness. This is despite a peer-reviewed paper published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases in June finding ivermectin is “not a viable option to treat COVID-19 patients”.
Meyerowitz-Katz told the Guardian that “this is one of the biggest ivermectin studies out there”, and it appeared to him the data was “just totally faked”. This was concerning because two meta-analyses of ivermectin for treating Covid-19 had included the Elgazzar study in the results. A meta-analysis is a statistical analysis that combines the results of multiple scientific studies to determine what the overall scientific literature has found about a treatment or intervention.
“Because the Elgazzar study is so large, and so massively positive – showing a 90% reduction in mortality – it hugely skews the evidence in favour of ivermectin,” Meyerowitz-Katz said.
“If you remove this one study from the scientific literature, suddenly there are very few positive randomised control trials of ivermectin for Covid-19. Indeed, if you get rid of just this research, most meta-analyses that have found positive results would have their conclusions entirely reversed.”