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February 01, 2018

It is flu season once again ...

A shortage in Tamiflu

The high volume of Tamiflu prescriptions at this point in the season has resulted in a shortage of the medication. While the FDA has not yet confirmed this shortage, doctors and pharmacists in both urban and rural areas are reporting difficulty in accessing Tamiflu for their patients.

Those unable to access Tamiflu this year do have other options. Besides Tamiflu, there are two other influenza medications: Relenza and Rapivab. Both are considered just as effective as Tamiflu and may be easier to access this year. For more information on these medications, see our post here. 

Over the counter medications can also help ease symptoms. Read here for more details on over the counter flu medications.

Is it effective?

Tamiflu is sometimes treated as a cure for all cases of the flu, but recent studies call this reputation into question. According to a study-of-studies, or meta-analysis, performed by CochraneResearch of 46 studies involving more than 24,000 people, Tamiflu may provide a much smaller benefit than expected. At best, the analysis found that Tamiflu may only help patients recover one day faster, and may not reduce the number of flu-related complications, like pneumonia. Additionally, it may only reduce the risk of getting sick by 55%. At over $50 per prescription for generic oseltamivir, for some, the benefits may not outweigh the cost.

While these findings don’t negate the use of Tamiflu, they may indicate that it is less protective than we had previously thought.

January 11, 2018

KodakCoin another crypto added top the list





Kodak, which filed for bankruptcy back in 2012, and recently turned a profit because Star Wars: The Force Awakens was shot on film, has announced several related blockchain plans. First is KodakOne digital rights management, which will be backed by blockchain technologies and the new KodakCoin. The latter will start with an ICO (Initial Coin Offering), a popular way to try to jumpstart new cryptocurrencies. The idea is that KodakOne will track usage of registered images, and when it comes across an unlicensed use of an image, it will help the photographer to get paid. This will dovetail into the KodakCoin, which will be the medium of exchange for licensing payments.

KodakCoin will go on sale on January 31, but the actual KodakOne infrastructure isn't planned for deployment until much later. A beta will release in Q4 2018, with the official launch slated for Q2 2019, if Kodak doesn't quietly abandoned this entire tenuous plan between now and then. It's not clear if KodakCoin will be a mineable cryptocurrency, but the third prong of Kodak's blockchain attack suggests it might be.

Kodak is planning to install a large number of dedicated ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) in its headquarters, and it will then offer two year contracts for sale to investors. The cost will be $3,400, after which Kodak will take half of the Bitcoin mined and the purchaser of the contract will get the other half. The suggestion is that at current price and difficulty levels, the hardware will earn $25 per day, meaning in two years the hardware will generate $18,000—and you'd get half of that.


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