270 Senate and 390 House bills introduced first 3 days: Canadian importation of Rx proposed

Meeting January 11, the House Committee for Substance Abuse heard Bob Hansen, Director of the Office of Drug Control Policy, report on drug overdose deaths. “The opioid crisis in West Virginia is a health crisis, a social services crisis, and an economic crisis,” Hansen said.

West Virginia is losing $8.8 billion a year as a result of this crisis, according to statistics from WV Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). The research shows that the highest risk for drug abuse are men between the ages of 35 and 54, have a high school diploma or less education, unmarried and working blue-collar jobs.

West Virginia is one of a few states that has substance use waivers, as well as the first state to have a neonatal syndrome waiver. The state received a $2,260,000 SAMHSA grant award to DHHR to help with prevention.

The House of Delegates Health and Human Resources Committee met January 10 to approve a bill establishing universal forms and deadlines when submitting prior authorizations electronically. The Legislature passed SB 442 last year, but the Governor vetoed it for technical reasons.

Last year’s vetoed was replaced with Senate Bill 5 in the 2019 session. It requiring PEIA, manage care organizations, and commercial insurers to develop prior authorization forms for electronically transmitted claims. It also allows practitioners to submit prior authorizations electronically, and sets forth peer review procedures.

Senate Bill 63 was introduced January 9. It permits partial filling of prescriptions for controlled substances listed in Schedule II under certain circumstances, and permits portions of prescriptions to be filled within 30 days of first partial filling. It sets forth steps to be followed if a pharmacist is unable to fill remaining portions of prescriptions. It prohibits further quantities being supplied beyond 72 hours in absence of new prescription. It provides remaining portions of a partially filled prescription for controlled substances listed in Schedule II to be filled in emergency situations.

The purpose of Senate Bill 63 is to bring West Virginia into conformity with federal law and the provisions of 21 U.S.C. 829 as modified int the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016.

Senate Bill 112 appropriates $1,500,000 of to fund tobacco prevention.

House Bill 2038 calls for the Legislative Auditor to review the status of state licensure of each profession and occupation regulated by the state every five years. Occupations or professions are to sunset unless it demonstrates the need to continue.

House Bill 2206 calls for DHHR to transition children placed in foster care into managed care.

House Bill 2307 creates a provisional license and removes the requirement to take an examination for a license to practice in this state when licensed in another state, provided the individual does not have charges pending against them or their license has expired or revoked.

House Bill 2319 creates a state-administered wholesale drug importation program. It calls for the Bureau for Medical Services to design and establish a wholesale importation program where the state is the licensed wholesaler, importing drugs from a licensed, regulated Canadian supplier. solely for distribution to voluntarily-participating, state-licensed, in-state pharmacies and administering providers for the exclusive purpose of dispensing to state residents with a valid prescription.