Senators and Delegates gathered at Noon, January 10, to begin their regular 60 days session, with a scheduled date of March 10 to adjourn. “It was evident lawmakers were prepared to go to work with the introduction of 552 bills by members of the House of Delegates and 159 bills introduced by Senators,” said Richard Stevens, WVPA Executive Director and Lobbyist, who attended the opening session.
An initial glance of bills introduced revealed 17 House bills of interest to pharmacy, and eight Senate bills of interest. Senate bills include SB 1, which relates to partial filling of prescriptions, and SB 2, calling for the reduction of the use of opiates. SB 46 permits pharmacists to inform customers of lower-cost alternative drugs. SB 129 intends to limit the number of prescriptions of certain controlled substances. SB 149 establishes safeguards for treatment of acute pain and opioid medications.
Some of the bills of interests introduced in the House of Delegates include HB 2192 which adds pharmacist and pharmacy to the definition of “health care provider” as used int he Medical Professional Liability Act. HB 2327 which is intended to protect consumers from surprise bills by health care providers, and HB 2330 which prohibits the sale of paraphernalia designed or marketed for use with controlled substances. HB 2614 intends to prohibit health care practitioners from knowingly and in bad faith prescribing or administering drugs. HB 2648 will increase penalties for manufacturing or transportation of a controlled substance in the presence of a minor.