Research

Little gain from COVID research

Medical researchers have said the federal government’s hundreds of millions of dollars in investment in COVID research has largely failed to produce useful findings on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. An analysis out this week in the Medical Journal of Australia has shown a disturbing degree of poor science, waste and what could only be described as selfish behaviour on the part of researchers. The researchers said too much focus was put on the now-discredited hydroxychloroquine treatment, while the government did not fund any trials on how to encourage vaccine-hesitant people to get a jab.

Other trials were set up in a way that made it almost impossible to provide any useful data, the researchers said, and only 7 per cent of registered trials were completed. “We haven’t made the same large contributions as other countries,” said Professor Angela Webster, the paper’s senior author. A federal Health Department spokesperson said the government has spent $374 million on treatment and vaccine research but Australia’s success in suppressing the virus meant there were fewer patients to recruit for trials.
Read more: Angela Webster, et al, The landscape of COVID-19 trials in Australia [Extract] MJA. Source: The Age. Also, interview with Dr Norman Swan on the ABC's Health Report

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