Public Health Expert

Is Keytruda cost-effective?

Public Health Expert Dec 15, 2015

Professor Tony Blakely Keytruda, or Pembrolizumab, is a new immune inhibitor drug that appears to have pronounced effectiveness in slowing – even reversing – disease progression in patients with advanced melanoma. It has received much media attention in recent months, and even calls from politicians to over-rule the PHARMAC process (currently PHARMAC do not recommend funding). In this blog … Read More

NZ Health Strategy – are the big prevention programmes really in there?

Public Health Expert Dec 03, 2015

Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Nick Wilson In this blog we comment for a second time this week on the consultation draft of the NZ Health Strategy, focusing this time on preventive interventions that actually would make a meaningful difference to health in Aotearoa NZ. The draft Strategy has many strong aspects, but by having a ‘people centred’ approach it … Read More

NZ’s draft heath strategy under the spotlight

Public Health Expert Dec 01, 2015

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Richard Edwards, Prof Tony Blakely The new draft NZ Health Strategy is strong on strengthening the health care system and has some strong population health aspects, at least rhetorically. It includes phrases like a system moving “from treatment to prevention”. But how does it fare when considering the science around burden of disease and interventions … Read More

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Red Meat & Processed Meat: Summarising the Public Health Issues

Public Health Expert Nov 05, 2015

Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Associate Professor Nick Wilson, Professor Tony Blakely This blog was triggered by the recent highly publicised review on the cancer risk from processed meat and red meat. Here we briefly look at this topic and also take a wider perspective on other aspects of meat consumption on human health and the environment, and risk communication.   The … Read More

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Can CT screening for lung cancer in New Zealand be cost-effective?

Public Health Expert Sep 28, 2015

Dr Richard Jaine, Dr Nisha Nair and Professor Tony Blakely There is now strong evidence that screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans is effective at reducing lung cancer mortality. So why aren’t countries rushing to introduce a screening programme? Because there is still doubt about its cost-effectiveness. In this blog, we discuss the uncertainties and suggest … Read More

Calculating cardiovascular risk with online calculators – scope for improvement?

Public Health Expert Sep 21, 2015

Associate Professor Nick Wilson, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Professor Tony Blakely, Professor Rod Jackson It is now possible to readily estimate individual risk of future cardiovascular events with a large number of online calculators – including a NZ-specific calculator that has been available for some years (“Know Your Numbers”). In this blog we consider if such risk calculators could be improved … Read More

A co-regulatory approach to protecting children from junk food marketing

Public Health Expert Sep 09, 2015

Amanda Wood, PhD candidate, University of Auckland The Health Minister is currently deciding how to best address children’s poor health due to diet-related diseases. It is a good time to reflect not only on the content of those approaches, but also the regulatory frameworks for those approaches. This blog explores a co-regulatory approach that could be applied to the strengthening … Read More

Smartphone apps for weight loss and smoking cessation

Public Health Expert Sep 07, 2015

Associate Professor Nick Wilson, Dr Christine Cleghorn, William Leung, Dr Osman David Mansoor Are smartphone apps for weight loss and smoking cessation well-designed? We were involved in a study published in last Friday’s NZ Medical Journal that tried to answer that question from a NZ public health perspective. In this blog we discuss what we found and its implications for … Read More

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