Funding is not enough

      We welcome the European Commission's proposal to invest €100 billion on research in the Horizon Europe programme from 2021 to 2027 [
      • Vesper I.
      €100-billion budget proposed for Europe's next big research programme.
      • News. EU science budget may rise 50%
      ]. We hope the detailed proposals for each policy area will consider the interest of citizens first and foremost and aim at equitable welfare for all. In the medical area – in which we work - we are still far from this goal at present. Besides those promoted and funded by industry even clinical trials supported by EU public funds often fail to address patient-centered questions and to answer them with reliable methods. Most of these studies, for instance, appear to promote new medicines more than answering important therapeutic questions. As commercial studies, they often use placebo as a control, or a non-inferiority design when an active control is in fact adopted. They often aim at surrogate outcome measures rather than seeing longer and/or better lives which is what matters to patients and public health professionals in the end.
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        • Vesper I.
        €100-billion budget proposed for Europe's next big research programme.
        Nature. 2018; 557: 150
        • News. EU science budget may rise 50%
        Science. 2018; 360: 583