Sunday, March 13, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Who Set Up This Conflicty Drug Evaluation System Anyway?


This post will involve an analysis of some of the stuff raised by the latest Vancouver Sun piece on the Health Ministry firings.


Before we get to all of that, I highly suggest you first go and read Norm Farrell and then come back.

Go ahead.

I'll wait.................



What's this one all about Alfie?


Rob Shaw (and/or an associate or associates) of The VSun got their hands on an 'un-redacted' copy of a previously released 'comptroller's report' on how government money moved around for studies on drug efficacy testing under rules set up by the BC Liberal government.

And the comptroller apparently decided that two Health Ministry staffers from the smeared eight, folks who have since been reinstated and/or paid-off by the BC Liberal government, were in positions to be in conflict of interest based on the money trail and the way the research contracts were awarded. As a result, those staffers have been named in Mr. Shaw's story despite the fact that Mr. Shaw himself notes that the RCMP also saw the un-redacted version of the report and decided not to proceed with charges. In addition, Mr. Shaw also notes that the comptroller's folks never actually spoke to the two staffers concerned because they were concentrating on the documents and the financials rather than, presumably, actions and intent and all that. Thus, on the face of it, this seems to be pretty thin evidence with which to name these folks in the public prints (again at this point, if you haven't already, go read Norm Farrell).

But what do I know.

After all, I'm just an idiot blogger without any left unsaid insider information to go on (and/or top secret, super-sweet government spin doctor whispers from former ink-stained wretches echoing in my ears).

However, I do know the following because I have been paying attention all these years...

First... We used to have a process in this province where drug efficacy testing was planned without circling first through various levels of the Health ministry before decisions were made on how the money would be spent and who would do the research. And, most importantly, the previous process led to world class research being carried out that generated data and analysis that really mattered, both in terms of citizens' health and savings of government funds.

Second... The BC Liberal government used a big Pharma-assisted witch hunt to blow up that previous process.

Third... The BC Liberal government put the current process in place, a process that puts ministerial staffers, including part-time staffers, in the middle if they also have university and/or research affiliations in the field.

Which, to my mind, gets to the real heart of the matter here.

And that heart of the matter is the only portion of Mr. Shaw's VSun piece that I feel comfortable in quoting directly:

...Before 2009, the health ministry dealt directly with UBC’s Therapeutics Initiative on drug research projects through a $1-million annual grant.

But the pharmaceutical industry, which disliked the TI, in 2008 called on it to be scrapped.

So the ministry changed the system, cut funding to the TI and required competitive bids on research contracts through a small group of universities and researchers, some of whom wore multiple hats within the worlds of government, academia and research...



If you still haven't done so, go read Norm Farrell, and ask yourself why, exactly, this particular 'unredacted' report surfaced at this very moment.


And, to be very clear here, all this process destruction was started by the government of Gordon Campbell and continued by the government of Christy Clark....In other words, this is something that cannot, at least not by rational pundits (which, of course, does not include those fine folks that will suddenly start popping up all over the place, both on proMedia  talking head conventional wisdom shows and while riding atop dark money smear machines, over the next fifteen months or so), be hung on the neck of the 1990's.
Update/Add On Bit: Just so no one gets the wrong idea about my own specific situation, especially if you've come over at Norm's urging...I am an academic and I do work with, and even try to develop, compounds that have the potential to become drugs...However, all our work is basic/fundamental/pre-clinical...In other words, we don't stick stuff in people/do clinical trials and we certainly do not do anything even remotely approaching post-approval analysis of drug efficacy...Thus, I don't work with, or personally know, any of the people concerned in this matter and I do not have any super-duper inside information on any this stuff...The links above really do come purely from having paid attention (often to stories from Andrew Macleod in The Tyee and more than once after reading the words of Paul Willcocks over at his most definitely non-idiotic blog).



Anonymous said...

It wasn't long ago the Christy Clark gang got all upset about a leaked document and the Queen herself vowed to get to the bottom of it.
Does that apply to the Sun & whoever provided the info this time.... or maybe they already know so let's not say anything ?

Guy in Victoria

mark mounce said...

I think you hit the nail on the head, RossK. The way the Liberal Govt. set up the health research process was so flawed that even if the researchers supposedly broke the rules, they couldn't be effectively punished because the process they worked under was so screwed up. My opinion only but it seems to hold up if the Mounties looked at the comptrollers report and quickly moved on. Apparently, the only people interested in this flawed process were the Savile Row Suits who the defamed researchers quickly retained and who saw a legitimate opportunity to earn a pile of taxpaper money.

I stopped believing in coincidences about the same time I heard the painful truth about Santa. Leaking a report to Shaw and the Dean is about as credible as awarding an honourary degree in Ethics to Christy Clark, on Powell River sheepskin

Bill said...

Ross thanks for your very plausible straightening of these latest Sun News curves. At this early point only PHD's in spin analysis can make much sense of it all. Yes the timing of the 'exclusive' by Mr Shaw (and accomplices) is very questionable and... revealing for the possible motivation(s).

Clearly the Libs (despite their feigned innocence and denial) of having passed this report on to their media moles are practiced in doing just that and have already done so in the past.

Timing is everything. This appears to be another 'wid west' gambit by the Christy Pirates to deflect and confuse, distract and incriminate all thru release of a held back flawed confidential report. One so flawed that it had not been acted upon by the both the Gov and the police. What have they got to loose?

I hope this bizarre development will - with more digging and light shinning be another stake in our Pirate Zombie Rogue 'government'.

and Mark Mounce... "Leaking a report to Shaw and the Dean is about as credible as awarding an honourary degree in Ethics to Christy Clark on Powell River sheepskin"... that's a keeper!

e.a.f. said...

did read Norm's column. commented, then had a shower.

this B.C. Lieberal government is so dirty, you need to shower a lot, just reading about them. the media who serve them so loyalty, you wonder how much they might be paid for their services.

At one time they said Quebec was the most corrupt province in the country. Personally I never believed it. I always thought B.C. had the title and these articles convince me I am correct. In my opinion not only are the b.C. Lieberals and their msm supporters corrupt, they are morally bankrupt. Whatever nastiness passes through their lives, I'd suggest they deserve. They might want to remember, what goes around, comes around.

Anonymous said...

SH @e.a.f.

Who needs the media anyway, when you've got shameless Government "employees" direct messaging for you?

Judi Tyabji ‏@JudiTyabji 12m12 minutes ago

BC govt protects Seaspan from Quebec company bid to steal major federal contracts #bcpoli #cdnpoli …

Anonymous said...

Subterranean Homesick Blues for breakfast? Got some info on a "quick wins" type bull$hit exercise at a rugby tournament yesterday when Amrik Virk handed out some hardware and the LG announced $100,000 to the Fiji cyclone relief fund. It's fine to help out, but there was a big crowd of Fijians there to support their fine rugby lads. Like they couldn 't have done that elsewhere or gave a shite until the photo op.....

West End Bob said...

Hey, "Happy Anniversary," RossK!

By the reminder received on my calendar it's three years today since you gave up listening to the LINO's mouthpiece of the airwaves: CKNW!

Good on 'ya . . . . The world is a better place without 'em, eh ? ? ? ?


Anonymous said...

Pay to play to look the other way?