Private Hospital System in Brazil Admits Chloroquine Was Ineffective in Treating the Coronavirus

Chief executive of a health care operator targeted by accusations denies ties to Bolsonaro

São Paulo

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, President Jair Bolsonaro has claimed that the Prevent Senior private hospital system had proven the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.

But the "study" did not follow scientific standards of control, nor did it prove the efficiency in which its users believe, says Fernando Parrillo, chief executive of the company that has been providing healthcare for more than 60 years.

"We didn't just give hydroxychloroquine associated with azithromycin. We offered a supplement of zinc, potassium, vitamin D; it was a set of substances. But our article does not prove that these drugs work because, for that, scientific research would be needed," Parrillo told Folha.

According to Parrillo, who runs the operator alongside his brother, Eduardo, the material was "an observational follow-up, a spreadsheet of diseases and evolution."

"A placebo or double-blind was not used, it was not randomized, as should be done in studies of this type."

Prevent Senior, with 550,000 policyholders, has been accused of changing medical records (confirmed) to non-consensual experiments in patients with Covid (denied). Parrillo also denies ties to the Bolsonaro government.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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