Washington State Magazine

Winter 2003

Winter 2003

In This Issue...


Washington's marine highway :: Washington state ferries appear in a million tourists' photos. But they are also a vital link in the state's transportation system. Mike Thorne '62 aims to keep them that way—in spite of budgetary woes. by Pat Caraher

On call :: Student firefighters at Washington State University have a long tradition of protecting their campus. by Pat Caraher

Boeing's Mike Bair & the 7E7: Dreamliner or paper airplane? :: Wherever Boeing ends up building it, the 7E7 will be lighter, more fuel efficient, and more comfortable. It's up to Mike Bair '78 to get this new airplane off the ground. by Bryan Corliss

A bug-eat-bug world :: If you can put other insects to work eating the insects that are bothering you, everybody wins. Except the pests. by Mary Aegerter

Putting on the Ritz: American management methods meet European hotellerie :: The child of Swiss peasants, no one would have expected César Ritz to become the hotelier of kings. But then, who would have expected WSU to add American business management methods to the fine art of European hotellerie in the town where Ritz got his start? by Andrea Vogt



:: A SENSE OF PLACE: Pacific Northwest sagebrush steppe


Cover: Washington State ferry. Read the story. Photograph by Laurence Chen.

Terri Levien and Danial Baker (standing) work with pharmacy students Tyson Henderson ('02 Ph.D.) and Anh Tran ('02 Ph.D.) to help pharmacists identify drugs and their effects.


Terri Levien and Danial Baker (standing) work with pharmacy students Tyson Henderson ('02 Ph.D.) and Anh Tran ('02 Ph.D.) to help pharmacists identify drugs and their effects.

What is this drug, and what does it do?

by | © Washington State University

On a typical day, a dozen pharmacists, physicians, and other health care practitioners will call the Drug Information Center (DIC) in Spokane for some help.

"The questions run from easy ones we can answer right away to ones where three days from now we still don't have an answer," says Danial E. Baker, DIC director and a pharmacy professor at WSU Spokane.

The center, which was started in 1973 and is primarily funded by grants and contracts, also serves as a teaching laboratory for up to four pharmacy students at a time. Students in their final year of pharmacy school spend six weeks in the center becoming familiar with sources of drug information and helping answer questions.

Demand for the center's services continues to grow.

"There are some days when the phone doesn't stop ringing," says Baker.

Most of those who call the center are pharmacists working in Washington, Baker says. The center charges a fee to insurance companies and also receives donations from some of its users and the pharmaceutical industry. It is not involved with any requests related to medical malpractice.

Callers want help identifying a drug a customer has brought to them, Baker says, or they want validation of something they heard on the news, or they want to know if a patient's symptoms could be drug related.

They also may want to know what the FDA is doing with particular drugs, Baker says. The job requires him to be aware of the latest information about prescription drugs, and he starts his day monitoring a variety of news outlets for drug reports.

Baker and the center's assistant director, Terri Levien, actually produce some of the information used nationally about various medications or drug interactions.

Both write a minimum of five new-drug evaluations each month for Facts & Comparisons, a drug information publishing company based in St. Louis, Missouri.

Baker and Levien are the editor and assistant editor, respectively, of a new pharmacy professional journal, Advances in Pharmacy.

Categories: Health sciences | Tags: Prescription drugs, Pharmacy

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