Updated news from WV Pharmacists Association

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA) and other law enforcement agencies conducted raids in August at a Morgantown, West Virginia home and two pharmacies.  A DEA spokesperson said the agency was executing  a search warrant on the owner of Bruceton Pharmacy and American Rx Pharmacy as part of an investigation into pharmacy practices.

A recent White House Council of Economic Advisers report found that just three PBMs — CVS Caremark, Express Scripts, and OptumRx — account for 85 percent of the the market, “which allows them to exercise undue market power against manufacturers and against the health plans and beneficiaries they are supposed to be representing, thus generating outsized profits for themselves.”   Recently, two of the big three PBMs announced acquisition plans with large insurers (CVS Health to acquire Aetna for $69 billion; Cigna to acquire Express Scripts for $67 billion).  If these acquisitions proceed, all three PBMs will be vertically integrated with an insurance company, as UnitedHealthcare currently owns OptumRx.

A new West Virginia law requires lyme disease to be covered by all health insurance policies, including HMOs, group accident and sickness insurance and individual insurance policies.

To be eligible for registration as a pharmacy technician trainee to assist in the practice of pharmacist care, the applicant shall: (1) submit an application to the Board of Pharmacy. (2) pay a fee; (3) (A) have graduated from a high school or obtained a Certificate of GED; or (B) be currently enrolled  in a high school competency- based pharmacy technician and training program; (4) (A) be currently enrolled in a competency-based pharmacy technician education and training program of a learning institution or training center approved by the board; or (B) be an employee of a pharmacy in an on-the-job competency-based pharmacy training program; (5) not be an alcohol or drug abuser; (6) not have been convicted of a felony within 10 years preceding the date of application; (7) not have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in any jurisdiction which bears a rational nexus to the practice of pharmacist care; and (8) have requested and submitted to the board the results of a fingerprint-based state and a national electronic criminal history records check.

An employee of a pharmacy who handle a prescription drug only during the point of sale to provide the prescription drugs to a patient and accept payment is not required to be licensed.  This handling process includes the cashier having access to the pharmacy ‘s operating system to verify unique information for each patient.  A pharmacy may require an individual to complete a criminal background check before he or she is hired.  (Richard Stevens, Executive Director of the WV Pharmacists Association, lobbied for passage of this new law.)