NIH: 87.5% of Research ‘May Be Wasteful’

science lab
July 5, 2016

Almost 90 percent of biomedical research is wasted, according to the National Institutes of Health’s monthly newsletter.

The government agency, which spends over $30 billion of taxpayer funding on research each year, highlighted remarks by a Yale doctor who said the majority of research is useless.

"As much as 87.5 percent of biomedical research may be wasteful and inefficient. So argued Dr. Michael Bracken at a recent Wednesday Afternoon Lecture in Masur Auditorium," the NIH Record reported on Friday.

"Waste is more than just a waste of money and resources," said Bracken, the Susan Dwight Bliss professor of epidemiology at Yale University School of Public Health. "It can actually be harmful to people’s health."

The NIH Record reported that only half of research projects ever produce published results. The remaining projects have "significant design flaws, making their results unreliable."

"And of those 25, half are redundant or unnecessary because of previous work," the report said.

Bracken said researchers who "publish novel findings are more likely to have produced exaggerated results or drawn incorrect conclusions."

The Washington Free Beacon has uncovered millions of dollars worth of questionable research funded by the National Institutes of Health. One project has received over $3.5 million to determine why lesbians are obese and gay men are not.

Unlike the 50 percent of studies that never publish results, the obesity project has published several findings, including a paper that found gay men have a "greater desire for toned muscles" than straight men.

Update 7:02 p.m.: Following publication, a spokesperson for White Coat Waste Project‎: STOP Taxpayer-Funded Animal Experiments told the Free Beacon that Congress needs to look carefully at what NIH spends money on.

"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," said Julie Germany. "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."