Random Analytica

Random thoughts, charts, infographics & analysis. Not in that order

Month: April, 2019

Mefloquine and Tafenoquine use by the Australian Defence Force 1990 – 2017

Mefloquine and Tafenoquine are two different types of anti-malarial drugs that have been in use potentially as far back as 1990 but trialled extensively by the Australian Defence Force at the turn of the century. From 2016 via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Defence force admits soldier shouldn’t have been included in East Timor anti-malaria drug trial. Excerpt:

The Australian Defence Force has acknowledged it accidentally exposed one of its soldiers to controversial anti-malarial drugs during trials in East Timor, despite the soldier having a medical history of mental illness which should have precluded his involvement.

The soldier, Chris Salter, developed chronic depression and psychosis after inclusion in the Timor trials of psychoactive drugs mefloquine and tafenoquine.His illness has led to repeated suicide attempts and more than a dozen stays in psychiatric hospitals. He is unable to work or care for his family.

Since the trials, which included thousands of Australian soldiers between 2001 and 2003, a small group of veterans have developed severe mental illnesses. They believe the ADF erred by giving them the drugs even though there was a significant body of research which pointed to the drugs’ side effects, which in some cases are permanent.

I just wanted to get a chart posted which highlighted the use of Mefloquine and Tafenoquine in Australian soldiers over the past 30-years. Currently most of the documentation concentrates on the trials conducted between 1998 – 2002, however there is some evidence that groups of soldiers were subjected to trials of mefloquine as far back as 1992 during Operation SOLACE (Somalia). I’ll update the chart as new information comes to hand.

Mefloquine~TafenoquineUsebyADF1990-2017

Explanatory Notes:

1992-93: Somalia – Awaiting more information
1993: Cambodia – Awaiting more information
1994-96: Rwanda – One confirmed mefloquine dosage. Awaiting more info
1997: PNG – One confirmed mefloquine dosage. Awaiting more info
1998: Bougainville – Peace Monitoring Group – 201 troops given Tafenoquine (note: Stuart McCarthy’s notes state 374 troops were given Tafenoquine).
2000: East Timor – 639 troops given Tafenoquine during trials.
2000: East Timor – 162 troops given Mefloquine during the Double-Blind trial
2000: East Timor – 492 troops given Tafenoquine during the Double-Blind trial
2001: Australia – 31 troops given Tafenoquine to test for Relapse Prevention
2001: East Timor – 1,157 troops given Mefloquine during the last major trial of the drug

An excellent resource for understanding the trial intensity of both anti-malarial drugs is Stuart McCarthy’s Summary of ADF Mefloquine and Tafenoquine Clinical Trials 1998 – 2002. See attached:

150724_Summary_SMcCarthy_ClinicalTrials

Data Sources

  1. Mefloquine http://www.defence.gov.au/Health/HealthPortal/Malaria/Anti-malarial_medications/Mefloquine/default.asp
  2. Randomized, double-blind study of the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of tafenoquine versus mefloquine for malaria prophylaxis in nonimmune subjects https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19995933
  3. Summary of ADF Mefloquine and Tafenoquine Clinical Trials 1998 – 2002 https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Foreign_Affairs_Defence_and_Trade/Mefloquine/Submissions
  4. TGA Approvals for Australian Defence Force Use of Mefloquine in Townsville (Queensland) and Somalia, 1992-93 https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/tga_approvals_for_australian_def

Measles in Australia (as at 18th April 2019)

I’ve been watching the news about various measles outbreaks across the globe and wondered how badly Australia had been impacted (or infected). After reading a few articles it dawned on me that no single entity looked after the data as it was a state or territory issue and each state reported infectious diseases differently. Not best practice for highly infectious diseases.

In terms of the measles numbers for Australia. I have put a tentative number of 109 across all states and territories. That eclipses last year’s total of 103 cases and the 81 cases recorded in 2017.

190418_Infographic_Measles_Australia

The State by State breakdown with links

If we have broken the measles record for recent years in the first four months one can only guess at the eventual total. One to watch…

45th Parliament of Australia Suspensions (Hon Tony Smith MP)

Here is a look at the 45th Parliament where the Honourable Tony Smith quietly overtook the Honourable Bronwyn Bishop as the Speaker who has delivered the most two-hour suspensions via the 94(a) ruling. Interestingly, Tony Smith did not ‘name’ anyone during the 45th Parliament. Naming a sitting member means a 24-hour or 94(b) suspension.

190412_Chart_45thParliamentSuspensions

In the 166-days parliamentary days that Tony Smith occupied the Speakers chair he averaged 2.5 suspensions per day. His suspension average topped >3 between the 7th September to 18th October 2017 with his highest average of 3.08 recorded on the 14th September 2017. Members of the opposition represented 95.9% of his suspensions with only 17 Coalition members asked to take a 2-hour break. Anthony Pasin was the most removed MP from the Coalition with four suspensions.

190412_Chart_45thParliamentALPSuspensions

In the naughty corner the most for the 45th Parliament was the member for Bruce, Julian Hill who received 29 two-hour suspensions. The most suspended female from the ALP benches was a tie between Emma Husar and Terri Butler with 21 apiece.

An interesting data point: When Emma Husar initially reached 21-suspensions on the 19th June 2018, her colleague Julian Hill had only 19-suspensions. I suspect if Emma didn’t get caught up in an internal investigation, she may have been the most suspended member for this Parliament.

Now to that election…

Data Sources

  1. Parliament of Australia. House Hansard. Accessed 12th April 2019.
  2. Parliament of Australia. Hon Tony Smith MP (Image). Accessed 12th April 2019.
  3. Parliament of Australia. Mr Julian Hill, MP (Image). Accessed 12th April 2019
  4. Parliament of Australia. Ms Emma Husar (Image). Accessed 12th April 2019

Australian Parliament Suspensions by the Speaker 1996 – 2019

A quick-fire chart this week but notable because Scott Morrison has just called the election for the 18th May 2019.

190411_Chart_SuspensionsBySpeaker

The Member for Casey, Tony Smith who has acted in the role of the Speaker since 10th August 2015 has quietly delivered the most suspensions since the inception of the 94(a) rule. He has averaged 2.5 suspensions per sitting day.

It will take me a couple of days to work though the 45th Parliament data. Questions that will be answered will include who was the most suspended Parliamentarian on both sides of the house.

 

Data Sources

  1. Parliament of Australia. House Hansard. Accessed 11th April 2019.

44th Parliament of Australia Suspensions (Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP vs. Hon Tony Smith MP)

As the 45th Parliament comes to an end I was reflecting on what a good job the Honourable Tony Smith MP has done as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Before I could look at the current Parliament I thought it might be worthwhile finalising my data from the previous 44th Parliament (Nov 2013 – May 2016).

190403_Infographic_44thParliament

190404_Image_KeyStatistics

Here’s a look at the Top 12 MPs who were suspended according to standing order 94(a) during the 44th Parliament.

190403_Infographic_44thParliament_Top12

The Member for Wakefield, Nick Champion finished the 44th Parliament with the most suspensions (70). He beat his colleague, the Member for Moreton, Graham Perrett (55) with the former Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus coming third (36). The woman most often suspended was the Member for Griffith, Terri Butler with 34 suspensions.

Now to crunch that 45th Parliament data…

Data Sources

  1. Parliament of Australia. House Hansard. Accessed 2-3rd April 2019.
  2. Parliament of Australia. Mr Nick Champion MP (Image). Accessed 4th April 2019.
  3. Parliament of Australia. Ms Terri Butler MP (Image). Accessed 4th April 2019.
  4. Wikipedia. Bronwyn Bishop (Image). Accessed 3rd April 2019.
  5. Wikipedia. Tony Smith (Victorian politician) (Image). Accessed 3rd April 2019.