EBM Episode 6: The Costs
This is the sixth episode in our series on EBM. In it we look at the the costs associated with EBM. We have previously written about how medical research costs hundreds of billions of dollars a year and rising, but other costs include opportunity costs, costs to patient wellbeing and lost productivity.
The main driver of the cost of EBM is the reason we have EBM in the first place: to ensure that innovation in health is effective and safe. To do that, multi-stage and multi-site clinical trials and long periods of follow up are required. Since evidence is so important there are strict controls on how it is collected and disseminated, measures to ensure transparency and quality controls and these all add up to financial costs of evidence. In contrast, very little is done to reduce the costs of evidence because pharmaceutical and device makes are able to charge patients for their own inefficiencies. .
The lion's share of evidence produce is wasted. For example, ineffective regulation allows approval of a new drug based on evidence that is irrelevant to patients and clinicians. Time and money spent on such a trial will not benefit decision makers. Patients that participate in this trial will not participate in other, more meaningful trials (very few patients qualify to participate in trials and even fewer agree to do so).
Let us know in a comment if you are interested in why funders don't do more to combat waste. We do. Evidentli is committed to reducing research waste. Piano is the only system in existence that lets researchers correct a flawed research protocol before, during or even after a clinical trial - reclaiming otherwise lost time, money and participants. Ask us about Piano and be part of the solution.