The Brits are doing it: likely health benefits from a levy on soft drinks

Friday, December 16th, 2016 | TONY BLAKELY | No Comments

Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Linda Cobiac

A study published today finds that the UK soft drink levy being introduced in 2017 is likely to benefit health (reduced obesity, diabetes and dental caries) – when considering a range of different Drinks Industry responses. In this Blog we comment on these results and the possible implications for countries like New Zealand.

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Casting a long shadow: Infection drives stomach cancer inequalities in Māori and Pacific peoples

Monday, November 28th, 2016 | Kate Sloane | No Comments

Dr Andrea Teng, Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Diana Sarfati

In this Blog we discuss our recently published study that shows that infection from the bacteria Helicobacter pylori is the major driver of stomach cancer inequalities borne by Māori and Pacific peoples in NZ. We also discuss a possible next step which could be for one DHB to pilot a ‘test and treat’ screening programme that seems likely to help reduce such inequalities.

H.pylori blog picture 1H.pylori blog picture 2H.pylori blog picture 3

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Potential health co-benefits from eradicating rats, stoats and possums in NZ towns and cities

Monday, November 7th, 2016 | Kate Sloane | 2 Comments

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Mary McIntyre, Dr Osman D Mansoor, Dr Paul Blaschke, Prof Michael Baker

predator-free blogThe eradication of some introduced pests such as rats, stoats and possums in New Zealand, seems increasingly feasible with a new national 2050 goal and action at the city level eg, Wellington. The primary benefits will be to native birds and enhanced biodiversity, as well as for agriculture (if bovine tuberculosis is eradicated nationally). But what about the spin-offs for public health? This blog starts to explore this issue and provisionally concludes that there are many potential health benefits from the eradication or near-complete control of these pest species.

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Why are some preventable cancer deaths in Māori and Pacific peoples increasing?

Monday, October 31st, 2016 | Kate Sloane | 3 Comments

Dr Andrea Teng, June Atkinson, Dr George Disney, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Diana Sarfati, Dr Melissa McLeod, Prof Tony Blakely

Work we just published shows some adverse trends in cancer deaths by ethnic group, as well as some favourable trends. In this blog we discuss some of the key findings of this research and what the options are for NZ society to address the harmful trends for obesity-related cancers, tobacco-related cancers and infection-related cancers.

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Highly variable cost-effectiveness with disease characteristics and age: Herceptin as a Case Study

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 | Kate Sloane | 2 Comments

Prof Tony Blakely, Dr Nisha Nair

Herceptin blog imageThis blog is, and isn’t, about the breast cancer drug Herceptin. It is about Herceptin in that we report on a study we just published in the journal PLoS Medicine about the health gains, costs, and cost-effectiveness of Herceptin. It isn’t about Herceptin in that the key point is far more general: in the age of personalised and precision medicine, our country’s funding decisions are often blunt and imprecise, some may even say wasteful. We raise some hard and contentious issues – but talking about money and health in the same breath always is.

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