Brief info on legislation of interest to pharmacists

As reported February 28 by WVPA, the Legislature has increased the sale of tobacco products to age twenty (21), up from the current 18 years of age. The products include heated tobacco products, E-cigarette and all other tobacco products. The legislation is contained in Senate Bill 348.

Of importance to pharmacies is the penalty for sales of these products to youngsters under 21 years of age. The new law states any person or corporation that violates this new law is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined $300 (up from current $50) for the first offense. The fine then increases to $600 for the second violation then $1,000 for the third offense.

Senate Bill 564 will provide Medicaid/CHIP health insurance to low-income, uninsured pregnant women up to 300% of the federal poverty level. The estimated cost to the state is $600,000 because most of the money will be federal matching funds. If passed by lawmakers, this will provide prescription drug benefits to these women.

House Bill 2953 permits a critical access hospital to become a community outpatient medical center. This allows as many as 28 West Virginia hospitals becoming outpatient medical centers, according to hospital association officials.