By RYAN DUNN
University of Findlay students this fall will have a chance to scrutinize “quick-fix” medications pushed on television.
A new elective course will analyze whether studies promoting natural remedies, such as green coffee beans and yacon syrup, are scientifically sound.
Sandy Hrometz, who has a doctorate in pharmacology, begins teaching the class in August.
One celebrity whose work will be examined is Dr. Mehmet Oz. The daytime television star frequently promotes alternative medical solutions on “The Dr. Oz Show.”
Students will research Oz’s claims about different treatments and herbal supplements.
The course will encourage critical thinking, to benefit the consumer, Hrometz said.
“Pharmacists know there’s not a magic pill for anything,” she said.
The course coincides with a larger debate about alternative medicines. Oz recently testified to a U.S. Senate consumer protection panel about his role in its popularity.
He defended his record of not promoting specific health supplements or receiving money from their sale, according to the Associated Press.
Hrometz started teaching the course last year at Ohio Northern University, Ada. The idea came from pharmacy students concerned about customers seeking the untested products Oz recommended, she said.
“The students felt the need to watch Dr. Oz to prepare for the frenzy of customers trying to get their hands on it,” she said.
Natural supplements are not subjected to the same government regulation as other medications, Hrometz said.
Many of their supposed weight-loss successes relied on faulty studies, such as tests on rats or small numbers of people, she said.
“He had people hyped up and the results weren’t there,” she said of Dr. Oz.