On Wellness in WV

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—The Marshall University School of Pharmacy, along with several other conference partners, is sponsoring the 2013 International Symposium on Safe Medicine (ISSM) beginning today in Charleston. The conference, which has historically been held in the state of Maine, brings together pharmacists, physicians, toxicologists, educators and others for sessions on prescription drug use, abuse, return and disposal.

Dr. Kevin W. Yingling, dean of the School of Pharmacy and a speaker for the event, said the escalation of prescription drug abuse across the United States makes it imperative for health care professionals to collaborate with others in the field.

“There are many facets of the prescription drug abuse issue that need to be addressed,” Yingling said. “This symposium exposes health care professionals to educational topics like best practices in medication prescribing, creating public policies about drug diversion, the roles of pharmacists in medication therapy management and even environmental issues impacted by the unsafe disposal of medications.”

Dr. John V. Schloss  is professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Science at the Marshall School of Pharmacy and is one of the organizers of past ISSM conferences in Maine.

“Prior to joining the Marshall University School of Pharmacy, I was heavily involved with the conference planning in Portland,” Schloss said. “There are many parallels between Maine and West Virginia that contribute to their common problem in prescription drug abuse. This symposium has facilitated cross-disciplinary approaches to solving the drug abuse problems, not just in West Virginia, but across various states.”

The conference also features speakers from Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, the MU Forensic Science Center and the College of Health Professions. Additional speakers are from the Pew Prescription Project, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and various companies and universities.

The symposium is being held in conjunction with West Virginia’s Integrated Behavioral Health Conference.