Snake oil crackdown

The FDA says it’s planning to crack down on homeopathic “remedies” and other flim-flam (we’re looking at you, Zicam) that may do more harm than good.

“What could possibly go wrong?” 12/19 edition

The NIH has lifted its three-year ban on experiments involving genetically altered viruses*. As long as these experiments don’t escape from the lab, we’ll all be fine.

They’re called “gain of function” studies, and they look to figure out what makes a pathogen spread faster.

Oh, why was the moratorium in place? Because of two cases when viruses (avian flu) or bacteria (anthrax) at CDC labs inadvertently got loose.

But don’t you worry: A government panel will make sure experiments are safe.

* Virii for you Latin speakers

Techs, you can up your certs

If you’re a certified pharmacy tech, you can now get extra certified as a compounded sterile preparation technician (CSPT), which can help you get a (better-paying?) gig at a compounding pharmacy.

The certification comes from PTCB, the same folks who give the standard pharmacy-tech certification. It’ll cost $50 to apply and $149 for the exam. (There’s a $50 discount if you do it by January 31, 2018.) Seems like you’d be able to earn that $149 back pretty quickly with that line on your résumé.

Do no harm to the bottom line

In the U.S., where people go bankrupt over healthcare debt, hospital corporations find there’s more money to be made collecting that debt than in saving lives.

Shout-out

Congrats to GPhA member Michael Azzolin, COO and co-founder of PharmD on Demand, who was named a member of the Bulldog 100 — one of “the fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by UGA alumni.”

The sad state of higher education

Fewer than half of college students get flu shots — we’re talking about 46 percent. Why? How about that 59 percent think the vaccine can cause the flu? Seriously. What college are these kids going to?

Bonus: 61 percent said they would get the shot if they got food or cash to do so.

Flu in Georgia

We moved from “widespread” down to “regional,” which is good news (although typically this will go up and down during the season). So far no deaths, but 61 hospitalizations.