Last week in the West Virginia House of Delegates numerous bills were passed and sent to the Senate for further consideration. One of those bills, which was co-sponsored by Delegate Justin Marcum, deals specifically with pill mills. "We all know prescription drug abuse is plaguing our state and ruining the lives of many who are caught in this downward spiral and that is why I supported this bill and spoke in is favor," stated Marcum. "By fighting against pill mills we can assure our citizens that we are serious about tackling the drug problem in West Virginia."
The bill titled Prohibiting Healthcare Practitioners from Prescribing or Administering Drugs Other Than in a Good Faith, Therapeutic Manner passed the House of Delegates 97-0. HB 4327 provides that if any healthcare practitioner knowingly or in bad faith prescribes, dispenses, administers, mixes, or others prepare a drug, including controlled substances, in a manner not in accordance with accepted medical standards is unlawful. Any person who violates this code section will be subject to a felony and, in addition, a minimum fine of $250,000.00 and shall be imprisoned for not less than 5 years nor more than 10 years.
Delegate Marcum was quoted as saying this bill is important to the State of West Virginia and will be "another tool" we can use to fight against pill mills and drug abuse. "Pill mills continue to plague our communities and ruin the lives of many. I am committed to fighting the war on drugs even if it requires establishing criminal penalties against the very few doctors who abuse their prescription pads."
House Majority Leader Harry Keith White also supported the piece of legislation. "By implementing this act we can move forward and continue to fight against prescription drug abuse. It is vital to the future of our area that we eradicate all pill mills and work to make our area much more prosperous."
Marcum and White were joined by Speaker Tim Miley, Delegates Tomblin, Rupie Phillips, Sponaugle, Lynch, Skaff, Boggs, Caputo, and Manchin in supporting this bill. Each of these co-sponsors worked hard to get this bill through the House. They all agree and urge everyone to contact their Senators in order to get this bill on the agenda in the Senate. "We have concerns if this bill will run in the Senate," stated Delegate Marcum. "I hope the Senate will run the bill and help us with the fight against drugs."