Waste in medical research

We estimated that avoidable design flaws, non-publication, and inadequate reporting result in an over 85% avoidable waste, implying over $100 billion annual avoidable waste globally. We undertake research to understand and ameliorate many of these problems, but with focuses on (A) poor research reporting, particularly its consequences for non-pharmaceutical interventions; (B) development and evaluation of automation tools for evidence synthesis. We are one of 4 EQUATOR Centres.

We coordinate the International Collaboration for the Automation of Systematic Reviews (ICASR) with 50+ members from 8 countries and annual meetings: Vienna 2015, Philadelphia 2016, London 2017, the Hauge 2018 hosted by ZonMW, and Bergen 2019. This is supported by a $5M NHMRC CRE in Digital health (CREDiH) 2017-2021.

Waste at four stages of research

Top publications

  1. Glasziou, P., Altman, D. G., Bossuyt, P., Boutron, I., Clarke, M., Julious, S., ... & Wager, E. (2014). Reducing waste from incomplete or unusable reports of biomedical research. The Lancet, 383(9913), 267-276. 
  2. Moher, D., Glasziou, P., Chalmers, I., Nasser, M., Bossuyt, P.M., Korevaar, D.A., Graham, I.D., Ravaud, P., Boutron, I., 2016. Increasing value and reducing waste in biomedical research: who's listening? The Lancet, 387(10027), 1573-1586.
  3. Macleod, M.R., Michie, S., Roberts, I., Dirnagl, U., Chalmers, I., Ioannidis, J.P., Salman, R.A.S., Chan, A.W., Glasziou, P., 2014. Biomedical research: increasing value, reducing waste. The Lancet, 383(9912), 101-104.
  4. Hoffmann, T.C., Glasziou, P.P., Boutron, I., Milne, R., Perera, R., Moher, D., Altman, D.G., Barbour, V., Macdonald, H., Johnston, M., Lamb, S.E., 2014. Better reporting of interventions: template for intervention description and replication (TIDieR) checklist and guide. BMJ, 348, g1687.
  5. Glasziou, P., Chalmers, I., 2018. Research waste is still a scandal—an essay by Paul Glasziou and Iain Chalmers. BMJ, 363, k4645.