• 26 APR 17

    Otago researchers scrutinise DHBs’ spend on outside consultants

    The amount of money spent on external consultants by New Zealand’s 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) is substantial and poorly monitored, University of Otago research suggests. In research published in the international journal Health Policy, Research Fellow Dr Erin Penno and Professor Robin Gauld of the Otago Business School estimated that each year DHBs pay external consultants anywhere between $10m and $60m. The pair also found many boards were unable to easily identify the extent or purpose of this consultancy activity, or distinguish it from other contracting. Only six said they had formalised policies in place regarding engaging such consultants.

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    • 23 JAN 17

    New Research – Birth date associated with ADHD Diagnosis

    New research from Western Australia has found that the youngest children in a school class are twice as likely to have received medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as their older classmates.

    Published in the Medical Journal of Australia, the research analysed data from 311 384 WA schoolchildren aged 6 to 10 years (born July 2003 – June 2008) or 11 to 15 years (born July 1998 – June 2003). A total of 5937 children (1.9%) received medication for ADHD; the proportion of boys receiving medication (2.9%) was higher than that of girls (0.8%).

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    • 20 OCT 16

    Cancer deaths to cost Ireland €73 billion over the next 20 years

    Researchers at the National Cancer Registry Ireland found that deaths from cancer will result in lost productivity valued at €73 billion; €13 billion in lost paid work and €60 billion in lost unpaid activities. When people die from cancer, society loses their contribution to the economy through paid work and unpaid activities such as housework, caring for relatives and volunteering. This work provides a complementary perspective on the burden of cancer in Ireland, and can be used to inform policy makers and health services about priorities for cancer care and research in the future.

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    • 18 OCT 16

    HSRAANZ Members – tell us about your research

    We want to encourage and help HSRAANZ members to publicise their research. You can do this simply, by completing our template. All we require is a 500 word summary for the HSRAANZ Blog, a 100 word summary for the HSRAANZ email newsletter and a 140 character summary for @hsraanz so that we can tweet about the paper and share a link to the blog. You can also post a photo of yourself or your team. For an example of how this can be done take a look at the post below “When newer isn’t better: We’re paying too much for patented pharmaceuticals” which looks at the latest research from our President, Jon Karnon

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    • 18 OCT 16

    When newer isn’t better: We’re paying too much for patented pharmaceuticals.

    New pharmaceuticals are often listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule at the same price as an equivalent pharmaceutical. Analysis of denosumab for the treatment of osteoporosis shows that the government has been paying almost $250,000 to gain the equivalent of one additional quality adjusted life year (QALY) since its comparator, alendronate went off patent. The Australian government should review listed pharmaceuticals as their comparator comes off patent to reflect the lower price of the comparator as well as any new clinical and economic data.

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    • 25 AUG 16

    Significant differences in use of linked hospital data for research in Australia: NSW and WA leading the way

    A recent paper, Growth of linked hospital data use in Australia: a systematic review, published in the Australian Health Review highlighted large variations in the use of hospital data linkage for health services research purposes across Australian states. This study conducted by researchers at the Centre for Health Policy at the University of Melbourne showed that the large majority (83%) of the published literature which uses linked hospital data for health research were contributed by two states, Western Australia and New South Wales while other states significantly lag behind (see attached figure). The paper also highlighted the lack of publications utilising multi-state data through data linkage which could indicate the presence of significant barriers in conducting cross-jurisdictional research. There have been significant investments to build up Australia’s data linkage capabilities and in establishing a data linkage unit in each state. Given that appropriate infrastructure is now in place, it is important to identify and overcome the barriers limiting the gains from this investment and to start maximising the potential of using linked data in health services research.

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