Too much medical research may be unnecessary, unethical, unscientific, and wasteful, warns new international research network

Researchers, research funders, regulators, sponsors and publishers of research fail to use earlier research when preparing to start, fund or publish the results of new studies. To embark on research without systematically reviewing evidence of what is already known, particularly when the research involves people or animals, is unethical, unscientific, and wasteful.

To address this problem a group of Norwegian and Danish researchers have initiated an international network, the ‘Evidence-Based Research Network’ (EBRNetwork). The EBRNetwork brings together initial partners from Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, and USA was established in Bergen, Norway in December 2014. It also has members from low and middle income nations like India, South Africa and Brazil.

At the ‘Bergen meeting’ partners agreed the aim of the EBRNetwork is to reduce waste in research by promoting:

No new studies without prior systematic review of existing evidence

Efficient production, updating and dissemination of systematic reviews

Logo of the new Evidence Based Research Network

My take : In real terms this signifies a tactical shift of the way medical research is conducted and funded globally and bring in more objectivity into funding decisions . The current system of research funding is flawed and decisions are often not on the scientific need of the research to be conducted but on peer-perceptions. It will also prevent policy makers to be mis-guided by scientist who are prone to hype their own agenda for causes of career progression.

Note : The information provided here is adapted from the press release by network together with some personal opinions.  Dr. Soumyadeep Bhaumik is one of the members of the network.

Health-care information: access or implementation?

In this recent correspondence by Dr. Soumyadeep B and his colleagues published in the Lancet Global Health :


A decrease in research funding is a matter of urgent concern, but research funding and funding to increase access to health-care information need not be mutually competitive. No suggestions to divert funds from basic or clinical research to ensure access have been made. However, the very point of research will be nullified if the results do not reach the end-users who put evidence into practice; thus a balance between the generation and the dissemination of health-care information is of utmost importance. Although the importance of generation of health-care information is self-evident, the matter of dissemination has always been put on the sidelines. Information dissemination is a complex, dynamic process, which is controlled by sociocultural, economic, and political agendas. Therefore, the wisdom generated from research does often not distill down to the end-users, the physicians, and other medical professionals who are fighting the battle at the bedside. Painstaking policy making, ensured implementation, quality assurance, monitoring, and reviewing are necessary to ensure that the endpoint is reached.

Read entire article at Lancet Global Health (Open Access)