H. B. 3170
(By Delegate Hatfield)
[Introduced February 17, 2011; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §30-5-12d, relating to pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy interns and pharmacies; and providing that pharmacists may not obstruct a patient in obtaining a prescription drug or device that has been legally prescribed or ordered for that patient.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §30-5-12d, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. PHARMACISTS, PHARMACY TECHNICIANS, PHARMACY INTERNS AND PHARMACIES.
§30-5-12d. Obstruction in obtaining prescription drug or device; duty to dispense prescribed or ordered drugs and devices.
(a) A violation of this section constitutes unprofessional conduct by the pharmacist and subjects the pharmacist to disciplinary or administrative action by the Board of Pharmacy.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a pharmacist shall dispense drugs and devices, pursuant to a lawful order or prescription unless one of the following circumstances exists:
(1) Based solely on the pharmacist's professional training and judgment, dispensing pursuant to the order or the prescription is contrary to law, or the pharmacist determines that the prescribed drug or device would cause a harmful drug interaction or would otherwise adversely affect the patient's medical condition.
(2) The prescription drug or device is not in stock. If an order or prescription cannot be dispensed because the drug or device is not in stock, the pharmacist shall take one of the following actions:
(A) Immediately notify the patient and arrange for the drug or device to be delivered to the site or directly to the patient in a timely manner.
(B) Promptly transfer the prescription to another pharmacy known to stock the prescription drug or device that is near enough to the site from which the prescription or order is transferred, to ensure the patient has timely access to the drug or device.
(C) Return the prescription to the patient and refer the patient. The pharmacist shall make a reasonable effort to refer the patient to a pharmacy that stocks the prescription drug or device that is near enough to the referring site to ensure that the patient has timely access to the drug or device.
(3) The pharmacist refuses on ethical, moral or religious grounds to dispense a drug or device pursuant to an order or prescription. A pharmacist may decline to dispense a prescription drug or device on this basis only if the pharmacist has previously notified his or her employer, in writing, of the drug or class of drugs to which he or she objects, and the pharmacist's employer can, without creating undue hardship, provide a reasonable accommodation of the pharmacist's objection. The pharmacist's employer shall establish protocols that ensure that the patient has timely access to the prescribed drug or device despite the pharmacist's refusal to dispense the prescription or order.
(c) For the purposes of this section, "prescription drug or device" has the same meaning as the definition in section one-b of this article.
(d) The provisions of this section apply to the drug therapy described in section one-b of this article.
(e) This section imposes no duty on a pharmacist to dispense a drug or device pursuant to a prescription or order without payment for the drug or device, including payment directly by the patient or through a third-party payer accepted by the pharmacist or payment of any required copayment by the patient.
(f) The notice to consumers required by section twelve-b of this article shall include a statement that describes patients' rights relative to the requirements of this section.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide that pharmacists may not obstruct a patient in obtaining a prescription drug or device that has been legally prescribed or ordered for that patient.
This section is new so it is entirely underscored.