Legislative Update: January 23

Senate Bill 129 prohibits a prescriber from prescribing more than a seven-day supply of a Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substance for a patient upon the initial consultation or treatment of the patient for acute pain.   After issuing the initial prescription and evaluating the patient’s condition, the prescriber may issue any appropriate renewal, refill or new prescription for the controlled substance or other drug for the patient.   Acute pain means pain expected to last only a short or finite period of time.  The term does not include chronic pain, or pain being treated as part of cancer care, hospice or other end of life care.

Senate Bill 251 allows initial responders to administer Naloxone or other approved opioid antagonists in an emergency situation to an individual who has suffered a drug overdose.    Responders must have successfully completed training on how to recognize the symptoms of opioid overdose and how to administer an opioid antagonist when an overdose occurs.   Initial responder means any medical service personnel and any member of the State Police, sheriff, deputy sheriff, municipal police officer, volunteer and paid firefighters and any other  similar persons who respond to emergencies.   The bill makes the individual receiving the opioid antagonist responsible for its cost.

Managed care organizations (MCOs) will have access to the WV Board of Pharmacy’s Controlled Substance Monitoring Program’s data base if Senate Bill 65 is approved by the Legislature.   Their access is limited to individuals enrolled in WV Medicaid.

Senate Bill 5 calls for the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to be transferred from the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) to the Office of the Attorney General, effective October 1, 2018.  On or before December 31, 2021, the Legislative Auditor shall study and report on the performance of the Unit compared to the performance of the Unit while it was established in DHHR.   The DHHR is to cooperate with the Attorney General on any investigation, prosecution or civil action.

House Bill 2192 adds “pharmacy” to the definition of “health care provider” at it relates to the Medical Professional Liability (MPL) Act.   “Pharmacist” was added to the MPL six years ago, said Richard Stevens, WVPA Executive Director.