This has to be one of the most important issues for the public and health research.
The debate on ‘increasing value, reducing waste,’ was kicked-off if not brought into sharp relief by a 2009 paper by Chalmers and Glasziou published in the Lancet which estimated that 85% of investment in medical research was being avoidably wasted.
You can see Sir Iain give one of his brilliant talks on the subject here (Oxford University Scientific Society). Now NIHR has embraced the challenge and this symposium is an opener to discussing what needs to happen in the future. Patients and the public are going to be essential partners in making this happen in terms of individual research projects but also more strategically for the UK. The question I get from almost every lay audience: ‘How do you know what to fund and is it what patients need and want?’ is a very simple manifestation of the debate from the population’s standpoint.
Sorry, in a bit of a rush. But the official spiel is as follows:
A Lancet Symposium on increasing the value of research and reducing waste will be held on 8 January 2014 at University College London Institute of Child Health. The Lancet will publish a series of papers documenting waste from five principal sources – ranging from waste in deciding what research to do, through to waste because of unusable reports of research. Authors of an introductory paper and the five main papers in the series will present their key findings and recommendations for reducing waste.
This free to attend Lancet Symposium is supported by the Department of Health for England and is of particular relevance to research funders, research regulators and academic institutions, but it is likely to be of interest to research users (including the public), researchers and journals.