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[Correspondence] Should hydroxyethyl starch be banned? – Authors’ reply

Medicines should be licensed for use when there is reliable evidence that patients benefit from them. In their Correspondences, Michael Frank James and colleagues and Hans-Joachim Priebe overlook this crucial point. Instead, they cast doubt on the high-quality randomised trials that question the safety of hydroxyethyl starch (HES), or claim that future studies might show some benefit for its use. They wrongly assert that CHEST trial data are being withheld when these are probably the only fluid trial data that have been independently reanalysed (confirming the integrity of the analysis and conclusions), and which remain available for further analysis in accordance with the sponsor’s open data policy.