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Government-Funded Medical Studies All Have One Thing In Common, And It Isn’t Good

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Thomas Phippen Associate Editor
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Nearly 90 percent of all federally-funded medical studies are a waste of money, according to a government agency that spends millions of dollars a year in research grants.

A National Institutes of Health (NIH) blog post says 87.5 percent of biomedical research may be useless to the medical field and a waste of taxpayer money. For NIH, which spends more than $30 billion in taxpayer funds on research a year, that’s not a good success rate. (RELATED: Feds Fund ‘Pubic Grooming’ Study Instead Of Zika Research)

The majority of studies funded by NIH have no clinical value, according to Dr. Michael Bracken, professor of epidemiology at the Yale University School of Public Health. Bracken said at a June NIH conference that not only do pointless studies waste taxpayer money, they “can actually be harmful to people’s health.”

Bracken calculates that only 50 percent of funded studies are actually completed and published. Half of the published studies are based on flawed research methods, so they can’t be trusted. And of the remaining 25 percent of sound studies, half just repeat what other research has already proved. Only 12.5 percent are actually useful to clinical medicine.

Part of the problem is that scientists are more likely to exaggerate their results if their study suggests something new, but there’s also a risk of duplicating research unnecessarily. Bracken advised that researchers examine their methods before gaining funding. (RELATED: Peer Reviews For Federal Science Grants Are Basically Useless, Study Says)

Others say that NIH needs more oversight to ensure they fund useful research. “Congress needs to take a serious look at exactly what NIH is spending its money on before it considers future funding increases, even for emergency items,” Julie Germany of STOP Taxpayer-Funded Animal Experiments told the Washington Free Beacon.

“When scientists themselves concede that an overwhelming majority of research is wasteful and inefficient, and when watchdogs like us know that $12 billion per year is being blown by NIH on shrimp on treadmills, monkeys on crack, and other such nonsense, it’s time to whip out some seriously big scissors before raiding taxpayers’ wallets and proverbially setting our hard-earned cash on fire yet again,” Germany said.
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