The West Virginia Center for Drug and Health Information (WVCDHI) has been in operation for about four decades, during which time its outreach efforts and scope have expanded considerably. The WVCDHI has throughout its existence provided answers to a wide variety of drug information questions posed by health professionals. In recent years, an increasing number of inquiries have also been received from agencies such as third party payors or law enforcement organizations.
The primary mission of the WVCDHI is to improve and enhance the health and well-being of West Virginia's citizens by serving as a comprehensive drug information resource for health care providers throughout the state. The WVCDHI's activities incorporate service provision, student and resident teaching, and research, consistent with the Strategic Plan for the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center at West Virginia University
Service activities of the WVCDHI include answering drug or drug therapy related inquiries and assisting health care practitioners and health professions students in acquiring needed therapy related information. The types of drug information inquiries (for marketed, investigational, and alternative medicines) received include, but are not limited to: drug identification and availability, side effects/adverse reactions, contraindications, therapeutic uses, drug dosing and administration, drug interactions, teratogenicity, pharmacokinetics, and therapeutic drug monitoring. In addition to providing verbal and written answers to questions, searches of the primary literature and high quality Internet web sites are performed as needed to respond to inquiries. Copies of relevant documentation and supporting information are provided upon request
The teaching responsibilities of the WVCDHI are numerous and varied. They include assisting students, residents, and health care practitioners in learning to use information resources through didactic teaching, laboratory teaching, or consultations. Further, the WVCDHI serves as one of the primary experiential drug information rotations for Doctor of Pharmacy degree students. In conjunction with Mylan Pharmaceuticals,Inc., the WVCDHI serves as co-director for a specialized drug information residency program
Staff of the WVCDHI have been involved in, and have additional plans for, many types of drug information related research projects. These include characterization of the drug-related deaths in WV, developing methods for enhancing drug information provision to health professionals, and characterization of the use of the Internet as an information resource for the public and health professionals. Drs. Abate and Blommel have also published a book (Drug Information and Literature Evaluation, Pharmaceutical Press, 2013) designed to be a concise reference for use by health professionals in locating and evaluating drug and medical literature, have published several articles in the area of drug information, and have worked with students and residents in preparing manuscripts for publication.