Cochrane Sustainable Healthcare: evidence for action on too much medicine

Minna Johansson, Lisa Bero, Xavier Bonfill, Matteo Bruschettini, Sarah Garner, Claire Glenton, Russell Harris, Karsten Juhl Jørgensen, Wendy Levinson, Tamara Lotfi, Victor Montori, Dina Muscat Meng, Holger Schünemann, António Vaz Carneiro, Steven Woloshin, Ray Moynihan

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


[Extract] Medical excess threatens the health of individuals and the sustainability of health systems. Unnecessary tests, treatments, and diagnoses bring direct harm to people through adverse effects of interventions, psychosocial impacts of labelling, and overwhelming burden of treatment. Overuse and overdiagnosis also consumes scarce resources, leading to underuse and underdiagnosis in other areas, which indirectly harms patients. As healthcare spending grows all over the world,[8] with poor correlation between increased costs and improved health in high‐income countries, there is growing recognition that much of that spending is unnecessary. Increased costs of healthcare also draws resources from other societal sectors capable of improving health and wellbeing for the population. By tackling the crisis of medical excess, we can reduce harm and prevent waste, making our health systems more sustainable and more beneficial for patients and societies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberED000143
Number of pages3
JournalCochrane database of systematic reviews (Online)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2019


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