Merck’s Molnupiravir paper in NEJM, imputed values study

Note that views expressed in this opinion article are the writer’s personal views and not necessarily those of Leo GoldsteinThis adds details to Merck’s Molnupiravir paper in NEJM contains fabricated data and corrects reasoning about the Annex, Table S6. Table S6 has the same baseline viral load value 6.81 (on log10 scale) in both Molnupiravir and Placebo arms. This is not a typing mistake. The respective values in the sub-groups also differ by only 0.05, and perfectly sum up weighted to 6.8069 and 6.8079, respectively. The difference is only 0.001, quite unlikely to happen by chance. And it  is only the beginning.

The paper acknowledges in fine print that only nasopharyngeal viral load range of 500 to 500 million copies/mL (corresponding to the log10 range 2.7 – 8.7) were measured and recorded correctly. For samples with viral load outside of this range, imputed values were recorded:

“The quantitative assay to generate these data was the Q2 SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load Quantitation Assay, with lower limit of quantification of 500 copies/ml and upper limit of quantification of 500,000,000 copies/ml. Post-baseline results below or above these limits were included in the...

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