(b) Advertising costs for prescription drugs, based on aggregate national data, shall be reported to the Governor's Office of Health Enhancement and Lifestyle Planning by all manufacturers and labelers of prescription drugs dispensed in this state that employs, directs or utilizes marketing representatives. The reporting shall assist this state in its role as a purchaser of prescription drugs and an administrator of prescription drug programs, enabling this state to determine the scope of prescription drug advertising costs and their effect on the cost, utilization and delivery of health care services and furthering the role of this state as guardian of the public interest.
(c) The Governor's Office of Health Enhancement and Lifestyle Planning shall establish by legislative rule pursuant to the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code the reporting requirements of information by labelers and manufacturers which shall include all national aggregate expenses associated with advertising and direct promotion of prescription drugs through radio, television, magazines, newspapers, direct mail and telephone communications as they pertain to residents of this state.
(d) The following are exempt from disclosure requirements:
(1) All free samples of prescription drugs intended to be distributed to patients;
(2) All marketing items of a value less than $100;
(3) All payments of reasonable compensation and reimbursement of expenses in connection with a bona fide clinical trial. As used in this subdivision, "clinical trial" means an approved clinical trial conducted in connection with a research study designed to answer specific questions about vaccines, new therapies or new ways of using known treatments;
(4) All scholarship or other support for medical students, residents and fellows to attend significant educational, scientific or policy making conference of national, regional or specialty medical or other professional association if the recipient of the scholarship or other support is selected by the association; and
(5) Any data that identifies specific prescription drugs or pharmaceuticals by individual name, any group of individuals or specific individual by name and any specific physician or pharmacy or group of physicians or pharmacies by name.
(e) The Governor's Office of Health Enhancement and Lifestyle Planning, with advice of the advisory council, is authorized to revise existing legislative rules that establish time lines, the documentation, form and manner of reporting required, and determine necessary changes to existing legislative rules to effectuate the purposes of this article. The director shall include in his or her annual report to the Legislature, in an aggregate form, the information provided in the required reporting.
(f) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, information submitted to the director pursuant to this section is confidential and is not a public record and is not available for release pursuant to the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act codified in chapter twenty-nine-b, article one of this code. Data compiled in aggregate form by the director for the purposes of reporting required by this section is a public record as defined in the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act as long as it does not reveal trade information that is protected by state or federal law or specific prescription drugs or pharmaceuticals by individual name, any group of individuals or specific individual by name and any specific physician or pharmacy or group of physicians or pharmacies by name.
(g) The director is authorized to consider strategies by which West Virginia may manage the increasing costs of prescription drugs and increase access to prescription drugs for all of the state's residents, including the authority to:
(1) Explore discount prices or rebate programs for seniors and persons without drug coverage;
(2) Explore and if in the best interest of the state and financially feasible, a counter-detailing program aimed at education health care practitioners about the relative costs and benefits of various prescription drugs with an emphasis on generic drugs;
(3) Explore purchasing agreements with public or private sector entities that could be beneficial in the cost of pharmaceuticals; and
(4) Explore other strategies, as permitted under state and federal law, aimed at managing escalating prescription drug cost and increasing access for citizens of the state and develop necessary legislation to implement such strategies.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.