Shortly before publication, the journal that published the study in question retracted the paper to correct it. It was then re-uploaded with many of the same errors still in place, and is currently online. This article was written in concert with a much more detailed investigative piece by Stephanie Lee and Ken Bensinger at Buzzfeed, which you can find here.
Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic medication that has been used for some time to treat various wormy infestations. It’s safe, effective, and has won people a Nobel prize for it’s amazing efficacy and utility. It’s also been used as a treatment for Covid-19, because of a few very positive trials that seemed to show a massive benefit for the drug.
One of these studies has been relied on heavily for months as evidence that ivermectin is effective for prophylaxis against Covid-19 — in other words, to prove that taking ivermectin can prevent the disease. It is a hugely popular study, because it showed a 100% benefit for ivermectin, with no people taking the drug getting Covid-19 while many people who did not get treated ended up getting sick.
It’s also quite likely that this study, as described, never happened at all.
Ivermectin in Argentina
In the future, when historians of science are unpicking what exactly went wrong during the Covid-19 pandemic and trying to figure out how we made so many mistakes, the story of ivermectin for Covid-19 is probably going to be one of the most amazing case studies. People will write PhD dissertations looking at exactly how and…