What the Healthcare Law Ruling Means to You

President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in to law in March 2010 after a year of intense national debate. On Thursday last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld law, ruling that the individual mandate, which requires U.S. citizens and legal residents to have qualifying health coverage or pay a penalty, is constitutional as a tax. The ruling will have a far-reaching impact on healthcare providers, especially for those who work with underserved populations.

US Supreme Court

Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse and the FDA

In an effort to promote public health awareness, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined preparation basics for the zombie apocalypse [1].

Yes, you read that right: zombie apocalypse.

Zombie apocalypse

As it turns out, preparing for the zombie apocalypse is similar to preparing for any other disaster: stock up on food, water and medications; have tools and supplies on hand; have items for sanitation and hygiene; etc. The CDC outlines emergency preparedness elsewhere on their website, but apparently no one really wants to read about preparing for a tornado, flood or winter weather. What people do want to read about is the zombie apocalypse. Thus, running with the idea that how you prepare is more important that what you prepare for, CDC went with a tongue-in-cheek, partially no-nonsense discussion of the undead and what happens when they attack.

FDA Removing Over-the-counter Asthma Drug From Shelves for Environment

Users of Primatene Mist, the only over-the-counter treatment for acute symptoms of asthma, will need to find an alternative as of December 31, 2011. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that the medication will no longer be available because it uses chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a propellant agent [1], and CFCs have long been known to deplete Earth’s ozone layer.

Primatine Mist spray

FDA Revamps Recall Resource, Promotes Food-Safety Awareness

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The United States has one of the safest food supplies in the world. Nevertheless, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), foodborne disease causes approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths in the U.S. each year [1] — and that’s just an estimate based on data collected from the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), other surveillance networks and published studies.

FDA food safety

Clinical Trials

A clinical trial, also called a clinical study, is a research study designed to answer specific questions about new medical approaches (e.g. drugs, therapies) or new ways of using existing approaches. These studies can test screening methods as well as prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a condition or disease. A clinical trial is one of the final steps in the research process. Health professionals run clinical studies according to strict guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that people who agree to be in the studies are treated as safely as possible. Clinical trials are usually conducted in four phases with patients to evaluate the effectiveness of new medical approaches. The FDA requires strict testing of all drugs and vaccines prior to their approval for use as therapeutic agents in the general population.