Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: From soundbite to policy

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  • giovanni tiso,

    Didn't Stephen Franks want to take his dog to the Registry Office?

    Badoom-tish!

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Pardon me if I've ranted about this before, but I can't let it pass.

    Kerry, you should go tell your story to the Select Committee when this bill comes before it. Ah wait, sorry, nevermind.

    Perhaps since you've been denied that opportunity, you could write it down and send it to all the members personally. Even though it won't affect this legislation, it'd still be good for them to hear.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Hood: A D+ for making me think that the insufferable Farrar had written something worth reading, when in fact it was somebody else entirely.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I've noticed DPF has locked up his comments section. Looks like he got sick of the sewer rats after all.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Peter: Scary stuff on No Child Left Behind. It seems to be predicated on Political Solutions rather than Eduacational ones. I wonder where the Nat/Act Policy came from? Ummm?

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    On Herceptin, the Pharmac document (PDF) James Green linked to upthread is worth reading. My apologies if these quotes have been printed here before.

    PTAC considered that data for Herceptin in HER2 positive early breast cancer has been,
    and continues to be, subject to unacceptable publication bias. Given this unacceptable
    publication bias PTAC felt compelled to consider all relevant data sources regardless of
    format or detail.

    Pharmac then quotes Metcalf, from the Lancet

    The effect of publication bias is outlined in the recent Lancet article (Metcalfe et al.
    Lancet 2008;371:1646-8.) which expressed concerns about Herceptin publication bias.
    ‘Failing to publish inconclusive results can mean wide (and wasteful) use of
    ineffective treatments, or even unnecessary illness and death if the reported risks
    of harms are underestimated. Clearly adjuvant trastuzumab is effective but how
    best to use it appears to have been hampered by some publication choices that
    presently are unclear. There is a duty of care to trial participants, sponsors,
    regulators, and the public good to promptly publish outcomes in all exposure
    groups.’

    There are some highly positive studies showing significant improvement in survival rates (~6/100 after 3 years), and no doubt this is what the breast cancer groups and the drug lobbyists have been highlighting. And with that kind of improvement, they might expect to be indignant or even outraged about its non-funding. But Pharmac has a duty to be rigorous and prudent* and has reason to be cautious about these results.

    They then go on to state that

    no new information had been
    presented that has demonstrated any additional health benefit for 12 months treatment
    (sequential or concurrent) over the currently funded concurrent 9 week regimen.

    and that more evidence would be required that demonstrated such an improvement before funding a 12 month course should be considered.

    It's an indictment of the quality of this Government, that they're going expressly against high quality advice this early. It should concern every thinking person in New Zealand.

    *If only all Government departments had such a grounding in evidence based research.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    George Lakoff's book "Don't Think of an Elephant" was fascinating reading. He said the two parties have a mindset that selects the language they use. In general, Republicans are father knows best: central authority, success and virtue strongly intertwined, we're in a dangerous world so do as you're told or bad things will happent o us all. Democrats are it takes a village: support, nurture, focus on collective good rather than individual opportunity.

    I agree with Nat that Lakoff's strong father/nurturing mother model does seem to fit this situation.

    A while ago when we were discussing Council powers to stop boobs watching bikes, I linked to Lakoff's Rockridge institute for more detail.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Okay, a D- for me for not figuring out it was in fact Farrar. Oh, the shame.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Eddie Clark,

    On DPF / Urgency, the Standard has a good point (the Standard is usually a bit foamy for me, but they're right here). Come on DPF, where are your principles? you like the HRC when they criticised Labour's process. Where are you now?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 273 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    From the New York Times, here's a stunning indictment of the 'No Child Left Behind' policy which has proved such a terrible failure in the United States.

    It is roundly acknowledged as having had no benefit, and only because it is a legacy project of the Bush Jr. administration has it been left in place. It will be removed some time shortly after Obama takes office.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    On DPF / Urgency, the Standard has a good point (the Standard is usually a bit foamy for me, but they're right here).

    And then their comments section is a complete sewer, telling everyone who disagrees with them to f%^& off, and writing in big bold black under their comments to tell them why they're wrong.

    They constantly undermine the credibility they might otherwise have by being rude and arrogant bullies.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Giovanni: I think it was Farrar originally writing in the NBR. Checked. And was surprised that he had stepped out so far. Where is Craig with a colourful opinion?

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Giovanni: I think it was Farrar originally writing in the NBR.

    Can't read you on account of all the egg on my face.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Obviously, Tolley has a picture in her head of what every truanting kid is like, and honestly believes that truanting is always caused by lazy and neglectful parenting.

    I'd extend it a bit further, and say that National have a picture in their head of what poor/disadvantaged people are like, and why they're poor/disadvantaged. It's also reflected in the 90-day bill - that attitude that surely if people just work hard their employers will like them and keep them, and that no "good" employee will ever be fired unfairly under that bill. Because the people who get screwed over by it? Well, they're just lazy. Or something.

    *facepalm*

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Sayeth Farrar:

    The challege now for the Government is to reduce or eliminate low quality Government spending (and the cancelation of the $200,000 Families Commission conference is an important symbolic signal to the public service), so that the inherited decade of deficits is turned around, and further tax cuts will not have to wait a decade.

    Surely neither Farrar nor anybody else believes the Government can finance the tax cuts and all the other Urgent commitments by cutting bureaucracy? Surely not?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    James: the graph on page 4 of this document

    Can you do that link again - it just comes straight back to the blog - as does Russell's link to the Education National Standards Amendment Bill.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    if anyone can provide advice on which offices in Parliament I should write to, I would be grateful to receive it.

    Try your union first. Writing personally to your bosses might make you rather vulnerable.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    More worth quoting...

    Emerging evidence is that sequential 12 months is the least effective way to use Herceptin .

    So what does National fund?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Surely neither Farrar nor anybody else believes the Government can finance the tax cuts and all the other Urgent commitments by cutting bureaucracy?

    The tax cuts was specific things like the kiwisaver and the cutting R&D tax credits that, the way they worked it out at the time, left them slightly ahead. As far as all the rest goes I don't know that we saw anything like a shadow budget.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    I suppose, what with all the Urgency, they don't have time to do any sums.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    I wonder where the Nat/Act Policy came from? Ummm?

    I think, Ian, perhaps they tendered it out in some sort of public/private policy partnership.This is what ya get when the lowest tender is accepted. ;-)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I've noticed DPF has locked up his comments section. Looks like he got sick of the sewer rats after all.

    He normally turns off comments for blog posts about his NBR column.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    James: the graph on page 4 of this document

    Can you do that link again - it just comes straight back to the blog - as does Russell's link to the Education National Standards Amendment Bill.

    (quoting myself)

    Oh dear. They were PDF files. Technologically I seem to be a National voter.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Is Pharmac is a Public Service? Didn't National believe that Politicians should stay out of the Public Service? Must have been dreaming. Mmmm

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

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